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University hockey derby marked by solidarity with Ukraine

In a duel of Brno universities played in front of record attendance, HC Masaryk University suffered a 2:3 overtime loss to VUT Cavaliers from the Brno University of Technology. In the playoffs, MUNI ice hockey players will face the team from Olomouc.

Hockey players showed their solidarity with Ukraine in the beginning of the match.

HC MUNI players and fans took this opportunity to show their solidarity with Ukraine. The hockey match was preceded by a procession of students starting at Freedom Square and the symbolic expression of support continued in the arena as well. Before the game started, the iconic song by Karel Kryl “Bratříčku, zavírej vrátka” (Little Brother, Close the Door) – written in 1968 in response to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia – was played to the fans assembled in the Winning Group Arena and the yellow and blue Ukrainian flag appeared on the video cube above the ice.

“Let’s show proper fighting spirit and fair play today. May the best team win,” said Marta Valešová, MU Bursar, to the thunderous arena. Together with Ladislav Janíček, Rector of the Brno University of Technology, she then opened the game with a ceremonial face-off.

Over seven thousand fans did not miss the opportunity to see the match between Masaryk University and the Brno University of Technology, setting a new attendance record for the university hockey league.

The first period of the game, where teams struggled for a better starting position in the playoffs, ended without any goals. “We had maybe ten chances to score, but unfortunately we didn’t take them,” lamented HC MUNI captain René Štrauch.

The first one to score in the match was the visiting team’s Plitko in the 24th minute, who then scored again just two minutes later, increasing the tally to 2:0 in favour of VUT Cavaliers. However, the blue-and-white MUNI team did not give up and managed to tie the score. “It happens to us often that we don’t have a good beginning and start losing by one or two goals. But the team showed their resilience and we managed to equalise,” explained René Štrauch. In the end, the winner had to be decided in overtime, in which the Cavaliers’ captain Dlouhý scored a goal just 27 seconds in, and his team thus gained a 2:3 victory.

Thanks to one point for the draw in regulation play, the MU hockey team finished fourth in the overall rankings table and will play the Palacký University Olomouc team in the quarter-finals. “We can definitely build on today’s performance and stick to it in the playoffs. We lost and won matches against Olomouc throughout this season. Our advantage is definitely that we are playing our first game on home ice. It can give us an initial boost and we will then try to grab a second win on the opponent’s ice and advance to the semi-finals,” added team captain René Štrauch.


MUNI HELPS UKRAINE. You can help Ukrainian students and academics by donating money to support educational and humanitarian efforts. You can make a donation through the MU Shopping Center. You can find out how much money has been collected so far on the MUNI HELPS website.