03.05.2022 - Vojtěch Martinek

Sparta´s 2021/22 campaign: a look back

The 2021/22 Czech Extraliga season is officially over! Sparta improved upon its third-place finish in the previous campaign, landing just below the top and capturing silver after failing to stop Třinec from winning their third straight title. While the team did not capture the Masaryk Trophy, there are still many reasons to be proud of what the squad achieved.

Despite struggling in the first half of the campaign and spending some time in the bottom half of the league table, Sparta managed to bounce back and finish the regular season in third place, just beneath Hradec Králové and Třinec. Along the way, the team also took part in the Champions Hockey League, where it won Group A and defeated Skellefteå in the first round of the knockout stage, only to then narrowly fall to another Swedish team – eventual European champions Rögle – in the quarterfinals. 

One of the top stories of the season were the downright amazing individual performances of Filip Chlapík, who returned to Sparta after splitting the previous year between Ottawa, Belleville and Lahti in Finland. The forward, who will celebrate his 25th birthday in early June, scored 31 goals and added 39 assists for a total of 70 points, collecting a further 15 (5+10) in 16 play-off games en route to the silver. 

The top 4 regular season finish of Josef Jandač´s team meant that it directly qualified for the quarterfinals, without having to participate in play-off qualification first. Sparta first eliminated Liberec in 5 games – getting revenge for their defeat in the 2021 semifinals in the process – and went on to face Motor in the semifinals, winning the series 4–1 and getting the opportunity to bring the Masaryk Trophy to Prague for the first time since 2007.

However, things unfortunately did not go the Reds’ way in the finals. While they won games 2 and 4, they lost 3–7 in match 5 and then were unable to stop the Steelers in what would ultimately be the final game of the 2021/2022 season. A 1–2 score gave Třinec the league title for the third straight time.

So, what comes next? Once preseason starts in August, there will be two new faces behind the bench – Josef Jandač and Miroslav Hořava have been replaced by Pavel Patera and Patrik Martinec. 

Between the pipes, the team will rely on 33-year-old Jakub Kovář, who has returned to the Czech Republic after spending 9 seasons in Russia and Switzerland. Gustaf Thorell has arrived in Prague from Plzeň, and will join his brother Erik in Sparta’s offense.

Departures include Filip Chlapík – who will join Ambri-Piotta – along with goalie Matěj Machovský, defensemen Tomáš Pavelka, Tomáš Dvořák and Radek Jeřábek, and forwards Tomáš Šmerha, Jakub Strnad and Gennadi Stolyarov. Further changes are to be announced.

Sparta will kick off the 2022/23 regular season with a game in Mladá Boleslav on Friday, Sept. 16th. It’s home debut – against Litvínov – is scheduled for two days later, Sept. 18th.

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Sparta´s 2021/22 campaign: a look back

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