BRATISLAVA – Miroslav Satan made his first official act as head of the Slovak national team program by signing Zuzana Tomcikova as his counterpart on the women’s side of the game. The former world-class goalie was named General Manager for the Slovak women’s hockey national teams.
“We met at the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver 2010, where our women’s team competed as well. Zuzana was the backbone of our team. She has experience and probably knows more about women’s hockey than I do. That’s why I believe she’s the right person to raise the level of women’s hockey in Slovakia,” Satan said in a statement.
Tomcikova was the face of the national team during its most successful years that started in the 2008/2009 season. With her saves she helped the Slovak women’s national team win two qualification tournaments to qualify for the Olympic Winter Games for the first and so far only time in Vancouver 2010. The same year Slovakia also earned promotion to the top division in the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship program where the team played at the top level in 2011 and 2012.
At the 2011 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Slovakia had its highest placing in women’s hockey, seventh, and Tomcikova was voted Most Valuable Player and Best Goaltender of the tournament. Tomcikova ended her career with the national team in 2013 and won the European Women’s Champions Cup with Tornado Moscow Region in 2014 before launching a new career. She has worked in the coaching staff of the Hungarian women’s national team for two years, has recently worked as marketing manager of the Slovak Ice Hockey Federation and has been a mentor for young players in Slovakia and at IIHF camps including the upcoming IIHF Women’s Goaltending Development Camp.
“It’s a great honour and I really appreciate the trust Miroslav Satan puts in me,” Tomcikova said. “First of all I want to contact all women’s hockey clubs in Slovakia, present them my vision, listen to their opinions and I believe that together we will move women’s hockey forward.”
Since Tomcikova’s days in the net the national team has dropped down to 14th place in the IIHF Women’s World Ranking and has moved up and down between the second and third tier during the past four years. The federation’s goal is to make Slovakia a regular participant at the top level – a task that has become slightly easier with the planned expansion from eight to ten teams.
Slovakia will battle for a spot in the expanded 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship next spring. The winner of the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship Division I Group A from 8 to 14 April 2018 in Strasbourg with Austria, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, host France and Slovakia will be promoted.