Infobar:  Pilsen Challenge 2018: 9th - 11th February

Talking Pilsen Challenge 2016 With Jag Sandhu And Raphael Mellinger

Talking Pilsen Challenge 2016 With Jag Sandhu And Raphael Mellinger This year’s Pilsen Challenge brought a handful of interesting games as the Pilsen fans were once again after a year offered another top-level international ball hockey event. Jag Sandhu came to Pilsen with the Canadian team West Coast Express, Raphael Mellinger captained the Oberwil Rebells.

08.03.2016 | Marek Kratochvíl

Jag Sandhu: As A Captain, I’m Proud Of My Teammates

The West Coast Express paid Pilsen a back-to-back visit. After writing history last year as first team ever from overseas competing at a club-level tournament in Europe, they returned to grab their first win. “Hats off to Gary Slavin, who built the team and gave us all the opportunity to come here and play at the Pilsen Challenge. And also hats off to HBC Plzeň for being such a great host to us,” Sandhu said.

The Canadians aimed high, but couldn’t reach a win once again and finished fifth. “I feel it doesn’t quite reflect our game here. Our first three losses could easily end up in our favour. However, we lacked the scoring efficiency throughout the tournament,” captain Sandhu looks for the reasons of his side’s failure.

West Coast Express lost 3-5 to Oberwil on the opening day as well as 4-6 to Ruzinov. Day 2 narrow 2-3 loss to Kovo then sealed the deal for the side, which then lost their final game 2-12 to Pilsen. “As a captain, I’m proud of my teammates. Unlike our opponents, we only had one practice together before the tournament. Most of us never played together before and now we fought side by side in a high-level competition. We can be proud. The team worked well and we created some strong friendships as well.”

Jag Sandhu (on the left) with Marek Adler, Josef Kadaně and teammates Chris Ceraldi and Paul Chima.

The Organization Was Great, Mellinger Praised The Hosts

Oberwill arrived to Pilsen as a half-season leader of the Swiss league. The Rebells performed well at the tournament and finished on a bronze medal spot. “I think we can be satisfied with this result. Gold medal would be nice, but this way, we finished the weekend with a win as well. We had some less experienced guys on our roster and it was a great opportunity for them. Dani Schwarzenbach was also chosen as the best goaltender. That’s really a cherry on top for us.”

Mellinger captained the Swiss national team at home Worlds at Zug as well as the previous Pilsen Challenge. “Last year, we came here with the national team to get together and improve our game before the home World Championship. Now our first goal was to play a good tournament. Pilsen Challenge was awesome from all points of view! There’s a great organization of the tournament, a good arena and top-level boards. You make decent hot dogs as well as you take great pictures from games, you play good warm-up music and there’s much more… I have to thank you, it’s been a great fun for us and I hope we’ll be back next year,” Raphael Mellinger said about the Pilsen Challenge.

He himself has only good memories on Pilsen. He attended the 2009 World Championship and he was a member of golden 2011 Rebells team on the World Cup. “The city is amazing. Everybody treated us well, we had good food and the best beer. I hope to come back for this year’s Pilsner fest with some of our guys!”

Jag Sandhu (on the left) with Marek Adler, Josef Kadaně and teammates Chris Ceraldi and Paul Chima.
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Pilsen Cup 2018 – Final Day Summary

This year´s Pilsen Cup is over! It saw West Coast Express´ triumph in under-17s while Spišská Belá took gold among under-15s with a win over hosts HBC Plzeň. Their older clubmates finished 3rd after Sunday playoffs.

Team GP S P
1. Plzeň 22 79:34 54
2. Pardubice 22 78:43 52
3. Kladno 22 69:45 44
4. Most 22 65:48 44
5. Kert Park Praha 22 83:57 42
6. Sudoměřice 22 48:62 27
7. Ústí n/L 22 53:70 27
8. Třinec 22 60:69 26
9. Letohrad 22 49:59 25
10. Kovo Praha 22 53:65 21
11. 22 38:77 20
12. Hradec Králové 22 45:91 14
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