Czech Republic wins bronze at 2018 Christmas ice hockey tournament in Belarus

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Czech Republic wins bronze at 2018 Christmas ice hockey tournament in Belarus

On January 7 Belarus won the 2018 Christmas ice hockey tournament at Chizhovka Arena after defeating Russia. This was the 14th such tournament in Minsk.

Just a few years after the advent of the Christmas tournament, Belarus brilliantly hosted the World Hockey Championship in 2014. And recently Belarus again got the right to be the hostess at the championship in 2021.

Belarusians made it to the final of the tournament where they defeated Russia. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko also participated in the game.

The President's squad has already won the competition 11 times. The Russians took home the Cup three times.

Sergey Stas, player of the hockey team of Belarus:
Canadians are Canadians, Russians are Russians. They always come ready, at a good level. Prepared guys. Despite their age, look at them! They play great combinations. Maybe they're not so fast, but hockey thinking is at the highest level.

Jan Golubovsky, player of the Russian team:
We play for pleasure, we love hockey, so we love this game and will be happy to play against these guys whom we have not been seen for a long time, whom we very well know. And we are very glad to see them on the ice again.

In the bronze match, the Czech team defeated the United Arab Emirates team 11:2.  The UAE are the bronze medal winners of the 2017 tournament.

Radek Soupal, player of the Czech hockey team:
In the first period we had to give our 100%. There was a high speed and only a few chances to attack.

And in the second period we pushed forward and in the end we have third place. Everything was at the highest level: both the arena and the organization. We really enjoyed it!