We already knew the champions of the sixth season of the EUHL (European University Hockey League) at the beginning of April, and it was also not difficult to guess the name of the most productive player. But the question who will be among the best six players in ALL STARS and who will the best coach and manager remained still open. Finally the EUHA (European University Hockey Association), which is the governing body of the EUHL league gave answers to all fans of the university hockey and revealed who won the awards this year.
After the first four years, when the championship title, respectively the Sekeráš Trophywas won by the students hockey players from the University of Prague, this year the players of the UMB – University of Matej Bel Banská Bystrica led by the coach Lukáš Opáth, succeeded in repeating last year’s success and won the championship trophy again after winning in Trenčín on ice in the decisive fifth final game. However, it was the team from Trenčín who made it clear to the public and proved what kind of progress a team is capable of making during one season. This team, which was literally struggling in the last few seasons and would not even think of making it into playoffs, suddenly found itself in the finals in the already mentioned decisive fifth game deciding the winner. One of the most important factor in this success definitely played the coach Branislav Jánoš, who was declared by EUHA the best coachof the season 2018/2019.
Another former hockey player appeared in the podium among the awarded, in this case it was the former national player of Hungary Tomáš Šille and he was named the best EUHL manager of the 2018/2019 season. Tomáš has been active in Hokiklub Budapest in the 2018/19 season, the only representative of Hungary in the European University Hockey League. The traditional award for the biggest supporter of the university team in EUHL this year went to the hands of Roman Moravec, sports director of Gladiators Trenčín.
The prize for the most productive player of the main EUHL 2018/2019 season was given to Matúš Trenčan, who scored an incredible 39 Canadian points (18 + 21) during the 14 games. With this efficiency, he has contributed to his team’s success and to winning the main base season. The Gladiators Trenčínthus became the Slovak University Ice Hockey Championand from the hands of representatives of the Student Council of Higher Education Institutions (ŠVVŠ) Anton Cvik and Dominik Juraček the Gladiators players received the trophy for this.
The best six ALL STARSplayers this year were not only from Slovakia or the Czech Republic, but even from Israel. For the best goalkeeper, Nir Tichon, a 25-year-old Israeli student studying at HC Masaryk University, was also among the ALL STARS players. The best defenders for this season became David Semz Engineers Prague and Tomáš Staňoz Gladiators Trenčín. Among the three best forwards were announced Jozef Huňa (Gladiators Trenčín), Martin Matějček (UK Prague) and Jakub Tatar (UMB Hockey Team Banská Bystrica). This year, the award for the most valuable player in playoffswas given to the Czech goalkeeper Aleš Příhoduz from Engineers Prague.
Even though these awards recognized individual players, the hockey definitely is a collective sport and thus the collective success has the greatest value. UMB Hockey Team Banská Bystricamanaged to win and receive the Sekeráš Trophyin April, and thus it will be able to proudly wear the title of the current EUHL champion in the coming months.
Author: Janka Danková
Photo: Jozef Kaffka
Hall of the Fame of the Year Banquet 2018/2019