BK Mladá Boleslav

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BK Mladá Boleslav
Full name Bruslařský Klub Mladá Boleslav
Founded 1908
Based in Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic
Arena Ško-Energo Aréna
(capacity: 4,200)
League Czech Extraliga, 2014 - present
Team colors               
Owner(s) Czech Republic Jan Plachý, City of Mladá Boleslav, Radim Vrbata
Head coach Czech Republic František Výborný
Captain Czech Republic David Výborný
Website www.bkboleslav.cz

BK Mladá Boleslav (Bruslařský klub Mladá Boleslav) is an ice hockey team promoted to the Czech Extraliga, the country's highest level on 18 April 2014 after a two year absence. They play their home games at Ško-Energo Aréna.

History[edit]

In 2000 and 2001, Mladá Boleslav won the 2. národní hokejová liga, and in 2008 won the 1. národní hokejová liga. In that year, they joined the Extraliga, after winning a promotion-relegation play-off against HC Slovan Ústečtí Lvi. In each of its first three seasons in the Czech Extraliga, Mladá Boleslav has had to win a promotion-relegation play-off in order to ensure its survival, most recently beating Slovan Ústečtí Lvi 4-3 in the best-of-seven series.

During the 2010-2011 season, the team was deducted 22 points for having used players who were not correctly registered to the club, an affair which also involved the clubs HC Plzeň and HC Kladno.[1] An appeal against the penalty was turned down. The club was later fined 3 million Czech crowns in a separate matter in which its administration was ruled to have deliberately withheld information concerning club debt.

In September 2011, local born player Radim Vrbata of the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes, bought a 33% share in the club.

In April 2012 the club was relegated from the highest Czech competition, the Czech Extraliga, after, once again finishing in last place and the subsequent promotion-relegation play-off. This time they were defeated by HC Piráti Chomutov in seven games, and will once again play in the 1. Česká Hokejová Liga.

Experienced coach František Výborný, father of the team's captain David, has been hired as coach for the 2012-2013 season.

The club finished the league phase of the 2012/2013 season in first place with 117 points from 52 games.

For the 2012/13 a new system for promotion and relegation between the Extraliga, (the Czech Republic's highest level), and the První Hokejová Liga, (the league below, literally First Hockey League), which would involve the two worst teams from the Extraliga and the two best teams from the První Liga was devised. Each team would meet each other team twice at home and twice away making 12 games per team in total. Points would be awarded in the same way as in the regular season, that is, 3 points for a win in regulation, 2 points for a win in overtime, 1 point for an overtime loss, and 0 points for a regulation loss. Since both semi-finalists would enter the promotion/relegation play-off, the První Liga championship final was dispensed with. BK Mladá Boleslav, however, as the winning semi-finalist with the better regular season record secured the championship trophy ahead of the other victorious semi-finalist HC Olomouc. The battle for promotion and relegation was completed by Piráti Chomutov, newcomers to the Extraliga, who had earned their place by defeating BK Mladá Boleslav in the previous season when the promotion/relegation play-off took the form of a best-of-seven series, and Bílí Tygři Liberec, who were fighting for survival for the first time since earning promotion to the Extraliga in 2003.

BK Mladá Boleslav began the play-off with two away losses, 1-2 in Chomutov and 0-3 in Olomouc. Things turned around, however, in the following three, (all home), games, when they first defeated Liberec 7-3, then Chomutov 4-3 after a shoot-out, and finally Olomouc 4-2. Their poor road form then continued. They succumbed to Chomutov 1-2 and to Liberec 1-4 before recording their one and only away victory of the campaign 3-1 in Olomouc. Three home games then followed, in which the team was again unbeatable. Impressive wins over Liberec, (7-0), and Chomutov, (5-0), made Slovakian goaltender Michal Valent one of the stars of the competition. These wins were followed by a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Olomouc, a team already out of contention which featured six junior players. At this point Mladá Boleslav, Chomutov and Liberec were inseparable on 20 points each with one game remaining. Mladá Boleslav took on local rival Liberec in the decisive game. With the scores level in the 53rd minute Boleslav forward Tomáš Nouza received 5 minutes plus game penalty for a hit on Tomáš Bulík after being adjudged to have elbowed the opponent in the head. Shortly after Lukáš Pabiška was penalised for delay of game. With a two-man advantage Liberec won the game by a score of 2-0.

Following the game in Liberec BK Mladá Boleslav's management submitted an official protest to the league's governing body on three counts, a perceived foul on goaltender Valent, the delay of game penalty against Pabiška, which the club claimed was not deliberate, and most importantly the decision to hand Nouza a five-minute penalty for what the club believed was not a foul. The league commission rejected all three protests adjudging that the referees' decisions were correct. Therefore, Piráti Chomutov and Bílí Tigři Liberec retained their places in the Extraliga for the 2013/14 season, while BK Mladá Boleslav and HC Olomouc remained in the První Liga.

Mladá Bolelav began the 2013/14 season with a home game against Draci Šumperk on September 11.

Coach František Výborný confirmed that he would remain with the club for a second season.

The club finished the 2013/2014 regular season with 126 points, a record, though it is worth adding that the format of the league has changed repeatedly and the current system of 14 teams and 52 games has only existed for 3 seasons. In the first round, (quarter-finals), of the play-offs they defeated local rivals Benátky nad Jizerou 4-2 in a best-of-seven series ending on March 3 2014. Their semi-final opponent had already been confirmed as HC Horácká Slavia Třebíč. The semi-final series ended on March 15 in a perhaps unexpected four game sweep. This meant an immediate return to the play-off for promotion to the Extraliga a year after missing out on promotion in April 2013. As of March 14 2014 the two Extraliga participants had already been confirmed as Rytíři Kladno and, for a second consecutive season, Piráti Chomutov. The line-up for the play-off was completed by HC Olomouc, also for a second season in succession.

On 18 April 2014 despite succumbing to Olomouc 5-4 in overtime, Mladá Boleslav secured a return to the Extraliga for the 2014/15 season after a two year absence. In gaining a bonus point Olomouc also booked a place in the country's top league and so the evening ended with the unusual spectacle of both teams launching into wild celebrations.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rozhodnuto: Plzeň, Mladá Boleslav i Kladno přijdou o body". Česká televize (in Czech). 19 November 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 

External links[edit]