HC UNIZA with two other teams joined the EUHL before this season. This team has played five matches so far. We were talking about first impressions from the competition, the quality of the league, and games with HC UNIZA’s general manager Alexander Gašparovič.
What are your impressions from the EUHL after five games?
My impressions are mixed while I know we could reach more than three points from these matches. We had a great start in most of them, however, we could not keep our tempo during the whole time, and we lost concentration. Some of the results are not equal to our performances and quality, but I have to say that we had some terrible passages in our games. I am most sorry for a home loss against Sapientia in front of our supporters. I did not expect such a result after the first period when the game was equal.
In which aspects did the EUHL surprise you?
Definitely the quality and difficulty of matches. We did not know what to expect in the first games. The teams we played against had a high quality. I was mostly surprised by the level of Polish teams and also the Romanian team Sapientia. I can see the league is getting better and better every year. For us, as a new team, it is even more difficult. It has always been a little bit more difficult to jump into the “running train”.
You achieved two high losses in Poland at the beginning of the season. What were the main factors in which home teams outperformed you?
We made too many easy mistakes in the first match against Oswiecim where we practically assisted our opponent to its goals. We were not good at passing, power plays, and neither in defensive zone play. Nothing worked out in this match that resulted in the final score. I must admit we were at least one level worse than our opponent in this game. We had a great start against Opole HK. We put them under pressure and created a few good chances while winning 2-0. Everything seems like we will be fighting for the first points in the season till the end of the match. However, we again made some naive mistakes that we could not later fix and let the home team come back to the game. It was a physically difficult match that influenced our performance at the end when instead of creating pressure and scoring, we conceded some goals and lost 2-7.
What do you think about the atmosphere during your home games?
It was absolutely great in both matches. Our “Fanclub” was constantly supporting us all the time, which we really appreciate. We made them happy with the result against UMB and I was glad to see they enjoyed it and had a good time.
Could you feel the interest from the university and public in these matches?
Yes, of course. The university management asks a lot about our training sessions and games. Despite some bad results we still feel their support.
In what was the game against UMB different in comparison to the others?
It was historically our first home match in the EUHL. We wanted to present ourselves in the best way in front of our supporters and we have successfully done it. We know guys from UMB and there were some fun trash talks before the match, but we had more reasons to smile after the winning game.
5 games – 1 win and 4 losses. How do you rate your performances in the EUHL?
If someone asked me before the beginning of the season, how many points am I expecting from the first five matches, I would have certainly said more than three. I think our team can do better and we still did not show everything we are capable of. I believe our results will be better and we will stabilize our performances.
Are you planning to change something (trainings, players, coaching staff…) to reach better results?
We do not want to change anything. I think we have a good team and also coaching staff. The only thing we would like to work on is our psyche and attitude to games. If we are more focused on the things we want to play, we will reach the results we want.
What is your program during the winter?
Everything depends on the current restrictions, but we want to train as much as possible.
Authors of the photos: Facebook HC UNIZA Zilina, Facebook UHT Sabers Oswiecim