Translations by Tomas Jandik
Extremely old game report (Canada vs. Czechoslovakia, January 28, 1924) - 30-Apr-03
(the original article is full of old-time anachronisms, which I probably did not translate correctly. Also, note that in 1924, Czech hockey terminology was pretty much non-existent (‘hockeyists’, ‘ride’ instead of ‘skate’, playing ‘canada’, ‘ice palace’ instead of ‘hockey arena’). That’s probably the reason why the original author was using some soccer terms (kickoff, three “halftimes”, players in the field) instead)
Chamonix, January 28, 1924 – Today the game against the Canadian hockeyists was played. The result was anticipated by our players with justifiable worries. First, though, let’s introduce the readers to the host city of the Games. Our captain Dipl. Ing. Sroubek speaks: “Chamonix consists of a bunch of smaller and bigger hotels, and small, but luxuriously equipped shops, where one can get everything what the rich people, who this year visited the city in plentiful numbers, want. Our team had several opportunities to train in town, however under the conditions that weren’t the most ideal. The speed skating competition has been held on a track around the rink of hockey, so during the first training, we were allowed only to ride with the puck, without shooting on the goal, so that the puck doesn’t injure anybody.”…”And out of nowhere, suddenly” says Jan Krasl, “a pack of brawlers wearing white sweaters with a name 'Canada' appeared in front of us. We were stunned. What to admire first? Their skating, joyful playfulness, the technique of stick[play], the equipment?” The present reporter of the Sport Bulletin asks the players: “How many goals do you think Canada will score on us?” 15 goals will be a success, think some, goalman Stransky says 30, Malecek 45. Everyone ‘s popping their eyes! Krasl and Pusbauer assure that only here they found out, how canada should be played. No loops, no stopping, only the speed and agility of the motion, returning back, that the Canadian system….We should mention that the frost came yesterday, so that the hockey surface, turned into one big lake before, was playable again. The rink is ideal, and for the first time, it has round corners; the time of play is 3*20 minutes. Stransky is in the goal, the five players in the field are: Vilda, Vindys, Sroubek, Jarkovsky, and Malecek. The Fleischmann brothers are ready for substitution. Immediately after the kick-off Watson breaks away and we see the first goal after 10 seconds. Malecek and Sroubek shoot several times. When the score is 0:5, a beautiful attack of Malecek, the shot goes wide. Then he is expelled for 1 minute because of roughness. In the last minute, Watson scores from 20 meters away the 8th goal. Nobody has ever seen an opponent to attack this way. Canadians take the puck near their goal, and all five of them suddenly ride with screaming and yelling. “I have never seen a team like that”, says Vindys. “They ride on just one skate, crawl on the ground, and shoot from every position.” 2nd halftime: Vilda is ill, can’t talk, J. Fleischmann substitutes. Sroubek gets injured, Mila Fleischmann comes in. Ramsay and Watson run the score up to 22 at the end. Their hunger for goals is so big, that even when they are falling, and their legs are almost up in the air, they still try to shoot on goal. They also execute stripping the puck off [our] sticks in a manner that’s almost equilibristic. For example, the player kneels down while riding, and lays his whole stick on the ice, so that the puck cannot pass through. 3rd halftime: Among others, Watson scores four more times. “That man, laying on the ground, is better than us, skating on our legs. He is like made from rubber.” says Vilda, watching the match covered by his blanket. Canadians even scored one goal when, in the full speed, a player picked up the puck on his stick like a tennis ball on a rocket, and carried it directly into a goal. Whether the final result 30:0 can ultimately evidence the difference between Canadian and European hockey, that’s impossible to debate. Jarkovsky claims: “We are infinitely behind them. We need an ice palace badly, and to learn how to ride like they do.” Left wing Watson, the phenomenon in goal-scoring, says: “You have a good material, it doesn’t know how to ride, though. Slowness is the biggest obstacle of success.” As far as speed being the weakness of our hockey, all Canadians agree: “Back home, every 15-year old boy knows how to play hockey, and he is faster than your best skater”, says Ramsay. Our reporter managed to find out that these Canadians are the best out of 250,000 of hockeyists of Canada, who are from 2,000 first class clubs, having 120 ice palaces at their disposal. The team is from Toronto, and it has been playing with the same roster for full 4 years. “No European team can manage anything against those devils,” deems Malecek, whose injury weakened the team. “I’m thrilled, only here one can comprehend, how canada is to be played”, says Malecek.
Tomas Jandik is the resident Czech on LetsGoPens.com and is a man who unifies all the goodies of the American dream - meaning, of course, being a Pitt graduate, a Razorback, and a Penguins fan.
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