Czech Republic overcome Japan, take Four Nations crown

The hosts triumphed 1-0 over Japan just weeks before they depart for the World Championships B-Pool. 31 Oct 2016
The Czech Republic ice sledge hockey team

The Czech Republic Ice Sledge Hockey team at the Four Nations tournament in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

ⒸCzech sled lions

The Czech Republic delighted their home crowds on Sunday (30 October) as they won against Japan to round off an unbeaten run at the Four Nations tournament in Ostrava.

The victory comes just weeks before the team head to Japan for the 2016 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships B-Pool, where a top three finish will secure them a shot at qualifying for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.

On Friday (28 October), Czech Republic faced Germany in their opening game, claiming a 4-1 victory.

Japan meanwhile took a 2-1 win over Slovakia with Masaharu Kumagai scoring their two goals.

Saturday (30 October) was derby day as the Czech Republic team took on Slovakia, featuring players they regularly face at league level. Pavel Kubes, Michal Geier, Jiri Berger and Martin Novak all scored in a 4-1 win over their Slovakian rivals.

Japan were taken to overtime by Germany but eventually triumphed 3-2. Kumagai once again made his contribution scoring alongside Kazuhiro Takahashi and Satoru Sudo.

That set-up Sunday’s clash between Czech Republic and Japan, who will play each other at the Worlds in Tomakomai, Japan, from 28 November.

Geier was the hero for the home team, scoring the only goal in a tense match. With that the Czech Republic cemented their No.1 place in the standings ahead of the Worlds hosts.

Slovakia put up a good performance in their game against Germany, showing they are in a good position to secure a place at the qualification tournament for PyeongChang 2018. Martin Joppa was their lead scorer in a 6-1 win over the Germans, netting three goals.

Slovakia finished third overall in the standings, followed by Germany.

The 2016 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships B-Pool will feature Japan, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Great Britain between 28 November – 3 December. The top three teams will progress to the qualification tournament for PyeongChang 2018.