Editor’s Note: After each tournament that the ELL hosts, we’ll be providing updates and additional information to our readers. The European Lacrosse League guys are definitely on to something very cool and interesting. And we’re thrilled to see them growing and succeeding.
The European Lacrosse League continued with its second tournament in Radotín this weekend and the fact that LC Bison Radotín and ELL Blue coaches Patrik Procházka and Jiří Pechar have chosen the best teams in the drafts was proven. Both teams played in the final again, like they did in the first event. However, Bisons won 10 – 2 this time, and avenged their Finals loss in the first tournament.
All six ELL teams played their round-robin games in groups on Saturday, and then games for the final standing followed on Sunday. Home team Bisons and Bats Lacrosse met in the first game. Bisons have very good starts to the first and second periods. They lead by three in the second minute after goals by Adam Kostka, Petr Poupě and Radek Skála. But Bats have not given up and by the 7th minute Jindřich Plecitý, Pavel Došlý and Adam Ondráčrk scored and equalized. There was a similar course in the second period. Bisons first lead by four, especially thanks to the offensive strength of Pavel Došlý and Adam Ondráček. Bats got close to a one goal difference again, but in the third period it was only Bisons who scored – Alan Keeley and Petr Poupě – setting the final score to 11 – 7.
ELL Orange and Old Dogs Pilsen played the first match of the B group. ELL Orange is led by coach Roman Pokorný, and finished 6th in the last tournament and they would strengthen their squad with two players. Defenders Jan Penniger and Martin Hodaň were these two and everybody was curious how this would affect Oranges‘ performance, and whether it will help them gain the first victory of the season in the ELL. The second period of the game was crucial. Oranges outscored Old Dogs and lead 4 – 1 after two Pavel Poupě’s goals. Emil Moravec, a Pilsen key player, injured his knee in this period what was a considerable loss for the team. ELL Orange were able to keep and even increase their lead in the last period, winning 7 – 2.
Ambitious Prague Sports played Bats Lacrosse in the third match of the day. And the start of the game was like an explosion. Bats scored 6 times within the first five minutes of the game. Almost every shot meant a goal, although nothing can be taken away from the Prague Sports goalie, Dominik Sika. Bats added three more goals in the first period and the game was more or less decided. Prague Sports changed the goalie for the second period, and Tomáš Pelikán got in, they concentrated better in defense and scored several times narrowing the goal difference to four. The final period brought several Bats‘ goals but also some big emotions, ending with the game penalties for Prague Sports’ Dominik Pešek, and coach Pavel Semerák, for unsportsmanlike conduct.
ELL Blue introduced themselves for the first time in game 4. They played ELL Orange. Oranges improved a lot from the last tournament but they were able to keep up with Blues only in the first period. Blues scored from breaks often, especially in the second period, where Ondřej Šedivec reached four goals. Both teams put on some attractive play and Blues won 13 – 6.
The fifth game of the day was expected to be a highlight, but the home team Bisons did not exactly fulfill their fans‘ expectations. They needed one point to win their group, and they gained this point by winning the first period 2 – 0 thanks to two Radek Skála’s goals. Bisons sent their second goalie, rookie Christoph Kunert to the net for the second period. The Bison defense did not help him much being very distracted and slack. Prague Sports were creating chances easily and scored 13 goals in the second period! Tomáš Říha, Bison elite goalie returned to the cage for the third period, but the game quality of his team-mates did not improve. They did not wake up and the expected pressure did not appear. Prague Sports players were well focused and added three more goals, reaching the second place in the group B and dooming Bats for the 5th place game only.
ELL Blue played Old Dogs in the last game of Saturday program. Petr Gheorghe from Pilsen opened the scoring in the fifth minute and due to Blues shooters’ inability to score, this was the only goal in the first period. Blues started to shoot on target after the break. Jiří Košťál scored twice and Petr Novák added one goal turning the game over. Blues scored twice in the last period and received a no goal, so the final score was 5 – 1.
Bats and Old Dogs met in the Sunday morning 5th place game. Bats’ Pavel Došlý and Adam Ondráček were the team leaders again and the score was 3 – 2 after the first period. In the second period Old Dogs scored four times and get the lead in the game. The last period was affected with Pavel Došlý’s game penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and Josef Linhart then confirmed the win, surprising the Old Dogs‘ with a victory 7 – 5. Old Dogs finished the fifth, Bats were the sixth.
The third place game was probably the most dramatic and attractive. Prague Sports played ELL Orange and both team played really well. Oranges commenced better with Martin Tolar scoring two times. Prague Sports Dominik Pešek replied in the seventh minute and nobody expected that there would only be two scorers in the game in that time. Martin Tolar completed the hat trick in the eleventh minute, but it was his last success. Dominik Pešek was the only player scoring since that moment, adding his fourth goal only five minutes before the final whistle and setting the final score to 4 – 3. Prague Sports repeated their third place from the last tournament.
Everybody was curious whether Bisons could avenge their defeat from the last tournament in the final against ELL Blue. None of 21 Blues’ shots in the first period ended behind well concentrated Tomáš Říha’s back. On the other side, Bisons needed only 15 attempts to score two goals. Richard Hauer and Jan Adamiec were successfull within 18 seconds. Petr Poupě scored the third goal at the beginning of the second period, but Ondřej Šedivec answered immediately. But it was only solitary success and Blues were not able to defeat Tomáš Říha guarding Bisons‘ net, although the bars of his goal helped him several times. Bisons‘ lead was growing steadily and the final score was 10 – 2. Tomáš Říha and Radek Skála from Bisons and Jiří Loskot from ELL Blue were selected as the final game stars players.
The third European Lacrosse League Tournament is held in Pilsen Na Košutce arena on October 15th–16th. Check the game video coverage at http://www.net-tv.cz.