I’d find things with the Sparta logo at home, Steelworker Crow captain says

He is preparing for his jubilee, the final tenth of his career. The jubilee will be stylish for Petr Vrán (37) from Třinec. In the fight for extra-league gold, he will face Sparta Prague, which he captained in the past. And who got rid of him three years ago. “Sparta have changed during this time, but it’s still great to play against them,” the Steelman captain said. “Great team, quality players. We probably couldn’t have asked for a better opponent. It will be a top final.”

Petr Vrána played two and a half seasons at Sparta, and he also has extended family in Prague. He wore the jersey with the red S for the first time in 2016 after returning from Brynäs, Sweden. The first year he was assistant captain, then he got a captain’s check. He admits with a smile that he would still find things with the Sparta logo at his house.

“Caps, maybe,” he smiles. “Just recently the boy put on a Spartan cap as he prepared for basic Klasik training at Frýdek-Místek. We had to change the cap right away… The truth is that other little things with the Sparta logo will definitely be at home somewhere in those years.”

Although Vrána failed to achieve league success in Prague and ended there prematurely in the 2018/19 season in exchange for Roberts Bukarts, he does not remember his engagement with bitterness. He made the Champions League final with Sparta in 2017, and from a personal perspective his stats were clearly not bad. Just play! He failed to play even a single game with him from the Prague team.

In 2017, Sparta fell in the quarter-finals with Kometa 0: 4, a year later in the preliminary round with Liberec 0: 3. After a quick elimination, the players had to watch the remaining playoff games as a penalty. “We all knew those seasons at Sparta weren’t optimal,” Crow recalled. “Both from my side and especially from the team’s point of view. I also needed a change at that time and I was very happy to have a chance in Třinec. In a quality team that was already in the top echelons at the time. Yes, I already had in mind that great successes could be achieved with this team.”

For the steelworkers, the exchange of the 2018/19 season started was terno. Crow and Sparta were traded for Latvian striker Roberts Bukarts. In the native of Šternberk they acquired a personality, a leader and later a captain. “We got the title in the first season, it was a fantasy,” Crow agreed.

Steelworkers were an obvious choice for him. He says he had no other options. “What I remember is that we agreed with Třinec and there were no other elections.” He found himself in the Silesian foothills of the Beskid Mountains. It has a group, vibe and family feel to the club. “Třinec are in the final for the fourth time in a row, it’s a picture of the work that is done here,” says Vrána. “Even the character of the boys who have been chasing theirs from the start. And as the playoffs approach, he knows exactly what they want. They do what they have to do. It’s great to be able to be regularly in the final. Have a chance to compete for the title.”

Sparta also has big ambitions every year. He has been waiting for the title for 15 long years. Petr Vrána also admits that it is not easy to bear the pressure at a club in Prague. “The pressure is definitely there because Sparta are a historically very successful team,” says the Třinec striker. “She won the titles. Of course, it was a different time, the armband was set up differently, the competition in the league was not the same as today. It’s tough, the pressure is there. And “I would say that sometimes he’s not in the right place. Yes, it’s Sparta, the big club. In football as in hockey, Sparta should have the best places at the end of the season.”

While the Steelmakers have been in the battle for gold since 2018, Sparta made the final six years ago. In 2016, the Jandač team fell with Liberec 2:4 in matches. “It is possible that the experience of the finals is in our team and that it could play a lesser role,” admitted captain Crow. “But Sparta are very experienced and have great players who have been through a lot. Such a team will certainly be well prepared for the final.”

How many times in his life, as a former Sparta player, does he meet a club from Prague? Is it the subject of debate among friends or family? “I would say I meet her like anyone who watches sports,” smiles Crow. “That I played there? I don’t often come back to this, the little one doesn’t remember much about Prague, so we don’t talk much about Sparta with him. We do not enter into the conversation. So unless his son is wearing a Spartan hat…

The Raven’s Balance

Sparta Prague (2016-2019)
39 goals
64 assists
total of 103 points for 144 games, average of 0.72

Trinec Steelworks (2019-2022)
45 goals
83 assists
total of 128 points in 200 games, average of 0.64

CROW FINAL

2003: HALIFAX MOOSEHEADS – Hull Olympics series 3: 4 (LHJMQ)
MONEY
In his first overseas playoffs (24 matches/5+15), Vrána was voted into the rookie All Star squad. En route to the final, his team eliminated Cape Breton, who were caught by Marc-André Fleury.

2005: HALIFAX MOOSEHEADS – Rimouski Oceanic series 0: 4 (LHJMQ)
MONEY
The Czech striker was the team captain, Sidney Crosby fought for the opponent. Crow scored 14 points (10+4) in 12 playoff games. Crosby had 31 (14+17).

2010: VÍTKOVICE – Pardubice series 0: 4 (extra league)
MONEY
The final was dominated by Dominik Hašek. Crow came to Vítkovice before the start of the season after a serious injury from New Jersey (open fracture of the calf and tibia), brought on by Alois Hadamczik.

2011: VÍTKOVICE – Třinec series 1: 4 (extra league)
MONEY
Vítkovice was a surprise of the season, after the support left they had to play for the rescue and reached the final. In it, they met Třinec with Martin Růžička, Radek Bonek and Václav Varaïa.

2014: LION PRAGUE – Magnitogorsk series 3: 4 (KHL)
MONEY
Another surprising ending. The summit and at the same time the end of the Prague Lion. 7 matches were played against Magnitogorsk (with striker Jan Kovář), the decisive duel was lost by Lev 4:7 in Russia.

2015: KAZAN – St. Petersburg series 1: 4 (KHL)
MONEY
He moved to Kazan due to Mytishchi’s economic problems during the season. St. Petersburg and Kovalchuk were practically the Russian national team, which won silver at the World Championships in Prague and Ostrava.

2017: SPARTA – Frölunda 3: 4p (Hockey Champions League)
MONEY
The Prague team led twice in the final and Vrána also scored. The Swedish champion and CHL trophy defender tore the game apart in overtime. In the 62nd minute, Niklas Lasu made the cut.

2019: TŘINEC – Liberec series 4: 2 (extra league)
GOLD
At Sparta, it became unnecessary to empty the cabin unexpectedly in January 2019. Sparta traded him for Roberts Bukarts. A win for the Steelmakers and the Crow, he finally broke the ‘money’ curse.

2021: TŘINEC – Liberec series 4: 1 (extra league)
GOLD
Before the season, the cabin chose him as captain. Three laps before the end of the base game, he lost his wife in a tragic accident. Nevertheless, he skipped the playoffs and had 11 points (2+9) in 16 matches.

HC Ocelari Trinec Everything about the club HERE

Last playoff with Sparta?  Irgl was a hero, recalls Ocelář Adámek

Řepík before the final: We also want to win for Tomášek.  Play off is friendless

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