ZURICH/BRATISLAVA – The Slovak men’s national team doesn’t have luck before Sochi. Two defencemen had to be replaced due to injuries while other players are currently sidelined.
Michal Sersen of the Slovak KHL team Slovan Bratislava suffered a lower-body injury in December. He has yet to return and won’t be able to play in Sochi. Dominik Granak of Dynamo Moscow broke an ankle on 24th January in the KHL game against Dinamo Riga and will only return in five weeks.
The two defencemen have been replaced by Milan Jurcina and Rene Vydareny. Jurcina plays for TPS Turku in the Finnish top league while Vydareny comes from Czech team HC Hradec Kralove. He will be one of the most experienced defencemen on the Slovak roster with 102 national team games under his belt.
Also after the announcement the injury trouble might still not be over yet for the Slovaks since Dinamo Riga forward Marcel Hossa is currently sidelined due to an injury he suffered recently.
The Slovak Ice Hockey Association also named the players who will be with the team until the NHL players arrive: goalkeeper Jaroslav Janus, defencemen Marek Daloga, Tomas Starosta and Ivan Svarny, and forwards Mario Bliznak, Juraj Mikus and Branko Radivojevic.
Before travelling to Sochi, the Slovak national team will play an exhibition game in Bratislava on 3rd February (19:00) against an All-Star Team of the Slovak Extraliga.
Slovak roster as of 30 January
Peter Budaj, Montreal Canadiens (NHL)
Jaroslav Halak, St. Louis Blues (NHL)
Jan Laco, Donbass Donetsk (UKR/KHL)
Ivan Baranka, Avangard Omsk (RUS)
Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins (NHL)
Milan Jurcina, TPS Turku (FIN)
Martin Marincin, Edmonton Oilers (NHL)
Andrej Meszaros, Philadelphia Flyers (NHL)
Andrej Sekera, Carolina Hurricanes (NHL)
Lubomir Visnovsky, New York Islanders (NHL)
Rene Vydareny, HC Hradec Kralove (CZE)
Milan Bartovic, Slovan Bratislava (SVK/KHL)
Marian Gaborik, Columbus Bluejackets (NHL)
Michal Handzus, Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
Marcel Hossa, Dinamo Riga (LAT/KHL)
Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
Tomas Jurco, Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
Tomas Kopecky, Florida Panthers (NHL)
Tomas Marcinko, HC Kosice (SVK)
Michel Miklik, Slovan Bratislava (SVK/KHL)
Peter Ölvecky, Slovan Bratislava (SVK/KHL)
Richard Panik, Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL)
Tomas Surovy, Dynamo Minsk (BLR/KHL)
Tomas Tatar, Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
Tomas Zaborsky, Salavat Yulayev Ufa (RUS)