In a few days, European university hockey players will meet against players from across the ocean. The EUHL selection will play pit their skills against a team made up of the best players from ACHA (American Collegiate Hockey Association) for the third consecutive year. A selection of players from a competition that´s been running for only three years will battle for victory against a team from a competition, which has over a century long tradition.
After completing youth competitions, they didn´t have to give up hockey, instead they combined it with education. These exact words can be used to describe the hundreds of players who decided to devote to their passion while studying at a college/university. EUHL (European University Hockey League), which was established three years ago according to the American model gave them this opportunity. Several hockey enthusiasts stood at the creation of the competition, among them a former Slovak national team and a NHL player, Ľubomír Sekeráš. The American competition was a sort of a template and a distant model for the founders of EUHL. The European competition wants to eventually be on the same level as the American one. After a year, the ACHA selection will arrive in Europe, where they will pit their skills against EUHL All Stars. “The Americans will once again play a so-called European tour, including games against our selection. People might think that our guests will destroy us on ice, since their league is much older and at a higher level. But our players are great fighters, which they showed in the previous meeting in the previous years. When we played them for the first time, we were the only team in Europe which was able to defeat them. Followed by two draws. I am convinced that even now both games will be very balanced and accompanied by ferocious hockey and a desire to win,” said Sekeráš.
In 2014, the two teams played their first game. A year later, EUHL decided to set up two selections, which resulted in two games being played. “We will continue in the same trend this year. We have two teams prepared, the best of the best and I do not only mean players, but also coaches and managers. These meetings are a huge school not just for hockey players, but also for organizational teams, in which students appear,” said the Vice President of EUHA. While previous meetings took place in Slovakia (Bratislava, Banská Bystrica), this time the league management decided to move the venue to the neighboring Czech Republic. “Since this is a trans-national league, we decided to play the next two matches in Pilsen and Prague. It is important that the competition is increasingly expanded also in the Czech Republic as well as the other countries. We should therefore not focus all the events only in Slovakia, since teams from other countries play here as well,” Sekeráš explained.
Future games EUHL vs ACHA
Pilsen – Home Monitoring Arena, 3.1.2016 17:00
Prague – ICE Arena Hvězda, 5.1.2016, 18:00
Past games EUHL vs ACHA
(2014, Bratislava) EUHL – ACHA 3:2 (1:1, 2:1, 0:0)
(2015, Banská Bystruca) EUHL – ACHA 2:3so (0:1, 1:0, 1:1, 0:1)
(2015, Bratislava) EUHL – ACHA 5:4so (0:2, 3:0, 1:2)