Brno Sports Weekly Report — Kometa Begin Title Defense Friday
Brno, September 6 (BD) – Reigning-champion Kometa host Oceláři Třinec to open 2017-18 hockey season, Draci prepare for big series with Kotlářka Praha, and the Brno sports schedule. Photo: Pavel Ševela [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Brno Sports Weekly Report by Bruno Zalubil
Here is a series of numbers that are very important to the City of Brno: 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, and 1966.
Eleven out of dozen years, Kometa Brno was nicely perched at the top of the Czechoslovakian hockey standings as the overwhelming dominant team. They had star players and they created a hockey atmosphere that still defines the city.
Then came some dark days. Then some even darker days.
Now, after several years of being almostthere, Kometa shook off a sputtering regular season campaign to put together a scintillating playoff run in order to win their 12th national hockey title by winning the 2016-17 Tipsport Extraliga.
This Friday, they hope to start another streak of hockey dominance when they host Oceláři Třinec at DRFG Arena at 5:20 p.m. in the opening game of the 2017-18 season. Tickets are very hard to find. The game will be broadcast on Czech TV.
Libor Zábranský, a former NHL and national team player who was born in Brno in 1973, is the owner, general manager, and head coach. He took control of the club in 2005 when they had been struggling in the second and third leagues for almost two decades. In 2009, Kometa purchased the top division license from the Znojmo team and returned to the top league. They have proven that they belong ever since, finishing second in the league in the 2011-12 and 2013-14 seasons.
In January 2016, the club hosted two outdoor games that attracted glowing reports in Canadian newspapers and, in the second game, set a national attendance record of 21,500.
This year’s team has already been playing important games. In addition to various charity and local pre-season games, Kometa has won all four of its games to sit atop Group B of the Champions Hockey League.
When the Tipsport Extraliga starts on Friday, they are the main target for the other 13 teams.
Leoš Čermák, the 39-year-old veteran, has led the team throughout its recent successes, including three runs deep into the playoffs and last year’s championship. Martin Erat is a standout player who played in the NHL and on the national team and bolstered the Brno offense significantly last year. Tomáš Vincour started his youth career in Brno, went to the NHL, and has now returned for a second season.
Marek Čiliak enters his fifth year as the starting goaltender and the foundation of the defense. Ondřej Němec is a defensive stalwart who can score, too.
There are 52 games in the season; Kometa will play each team four times, twice home and twice away. The top teams advance into the playoffs in March. The bottom four teams compete in a survival tournament, with the bottom two forced to play lower-league teams for the right to stay in the top league.
Draci Return to the Top of the Standings
Draci Brno finished the first part of the Baseball Extraliga season with an impressive 31-5 record. Yet, after a quick start by Kotlářka Praha, the Draci found themselves in second through the first half of the second part of the Baseball Extraliga season.
Yet, despite one loss to the Ostrava Arrows before the international break, the Draci continued to win and when the Ostrava Arrows swept previously undefeated Kotlářka Praha in a double-header last Saturday, Kotlářka dropped into a tie in the standings with the Arrows, leaving the Draci on top with a one-game lead.
The season is not yet over, though. The Draci host cross-town rival Hrosi at 7 p.m. tonight.
Then they play Kotlářka three times to determine who will get a ticket to the league championship series and who will be forced into a semi-final series. The only game in Brno is Friday at 7 p.m. Then, the teams play in Prague on Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
BRNO SPORTS RESULTS
Quick results for various Brno professional and recreational sports for the past week. Home team listed first (when applicable).
- Saturday, Sept. 2
— Rugby: RC Dragon Brno 23, RC Praga Praha 51; RC Tatra Smíchov 80, RC Dragon Brno 0 (Aug. 26)
— Baseball: Cardion Hroši Brno 1, Skokani Olomouc 0 (first game); Cardion Hroši Brno 8, Skokani Olomouc 3 (second game); Draci Brno 2, Eagles Praha 1.
— Women’s Football: FK Dukla Praha 3, Lokomotiva Brno H. H. 1.
- Sunday, Sept. 3
— Baseball: Draci Brno 11, Eagles Praha 1
- Monday, Sept. 4
— Baseball: Eagles Praha 1, Draci Brno 6
- Tuesday, Sept. 5
— Skokani Olomouc X Cardion Hroši Brno, NA
BRNO SPORTS SCHEDULE
The schedule for various Brno professional and recreational sports for the next two weeks. All dates and times subject to change. Home team listed first (when applicable).
— Baseball: Draci Brno X Cardion Hroši Brno, 7 p.m.
- Friday, Sept. 8
— Hockey: Kometa Brno X Oceláři Třinec, DRFG Arena, 6 p.m. — SEASON-OPENING GAME
— Baseball: Draci Brno X Kotlářka Praha, 7 p.m.; Arrows Ostrava X Cardion Hroši Brno, 7 p.m.
- Saturday, Sept. 9
— Football: Mladá Boleslav X Zbrojovka Brno
— Rugby: JIMI RC Vyškov X RC Dragon Brno
— Baseball: Kotlářka Praha X Draci Brno, 2 p.m.; Arrows Ostrava X Cardion Hroši Brno, 3 p.m.
— Women’s Football: Lokomotiva Brno H. H. X FC Viktoria Plzeň, 11 a.m.
- Sunday, Sept. 10
— Hockey: Hr. Králové X Kometa
— Baseball: Kotlářka Praha X Draci Brno, 1 p.m.; Cardion Hroši Brno X Arrows Ostrava, 2 p.m.
- Tuesday, Sept. 12
— Hockey: Kometa X Ml. Boleslav, DRFG Arena, 6 p.m.
- Friday, Sept. 15
— Hockey: Zlín X Kometa
— Baseball: Wild Card Series
- Saturday, Sept. 16
— Football: Zbrojovka Brno versus Liberec, Srbska, 5 p.m.
— Baseball: Wild Card Series
— Running: Brno Zoo Run, 11 a.m.
— Rugby: RC Dragon Brno X Mountfield Říčany, 2 p.m.
- Sunday, Sept. 17
Hockey — Kometa X Chomutov, DRFG Arena, 17:00
Baseball — Wild Card Series
The Brno Sports Report is published every Wednesday. All dates and times are subject to change. Most of the stories are about the traditional “English-speaking” team sports — football, hockey, baseball, basketball, American football, rugby, etc. — but it is also about the interesting local spectator and participation sports — tennis, badminton, running, horse racing, swimming, rock climbing, biking, etc. If you have any suggestions for what should be included, please comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.