Ostrava 2021: Get to know Czech Republic

Host nation is the fourth seed in an extremely tough preliminary round group that also includes USA, Canada and South Korea 15 Jun 2021
Four Czech Republic Para ice hockey players on an ice rink
Czech Republic will be hoping to go beyond the fourth place from the last World Championships in Ostrava in 2019
ⒸOstrava 2019 LOC
By Stuart Lieberman | For World Para Ice Hockey

The 2021 World Para Ice Hockey Championships will take place from 19-26 June in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The top eight teams from around the world will compete for five Paralympic qualification spots. Follow along as we break down what you need to know about each team. 

This time, let's take a look at hosts Czech Republic.

Background: The Czech Republic will be hosting the World Championships for the second consecutive time and third time overall, and since last hosting the event in 2019 the country has attracted a lot of attention for the sport. Two years ago, the Czech squad fell just short of a medal, losing in the bronze-medal match to SouthKorea. The host nation will be the fourth seed in an extremely tough preliminary round group that also includes USA, Canada and Korea. Newcomers Vaclav Hecko, Alex Ohar, Patrik Sedlacek and Radek Zelinka will join a veteran Czech squad.

World Ranking: 4th

World Championships history: 
2019: 4th place 
2017: Did not qualify
2015: 7th place
2013: 4th place
2012: 4th place
2009: 5th place
2008: 8th place

Athlete to Watch: Forward Michael Geier was named the Most Valuable Player at the last World Championships with a team-high 11 assists. The three-time Paralympian and Czech team captain will be playing in his sixth World Championships.

Matchup to Watch: Czech Republic vs South Korea at 12:00 (CEST) on 19 June, the first match of the tournament, will be a rematch of the bronze-medal game from the 2019 World Championships. Korea won that game 4-1, so the home team will look to reverse the result this time around.

Czech Republic roster:

Martin Kudela
Michal Vapenka

Pavel Dolezal
Jan Frolik
Pavel Kubes
David Motycka
Karel Wagner
Radek Zelinka 

Michal Geier
Zdenek Habl
Vaclav Hecko
Zdenek Krupicka
Miroslav Novotny
Alex Ohar
David Palat
Jiri Raul
Patrik Sedlacek