SOCHI, Russia – Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec has been told by Czech Republic coach Alois Hadamczik he will not start in the team’s opening game of the Olympics against Sweden.
"I’m in the stands," said Pavelec,following his team’s skate on Tuesday at the Bolshoy IceDome. "I’m not sure. It’s the coaches decision. But he told me I would play in the second game against Latvia."
Pavelec was slated to be the Czech starter but Jakub Kovar of the KHL will take the net against Sweden and Alexander Salak will back up.
"It’s the Olympics. Everyone wants to play. That’s why we’re here," said Pavelec. "I don’t know. I’ll work hard in practice. The coaches have their reasons. Hopefully this works for us and we win. Kovar has been hot in the KHL. He’s a good goalie and I want him to play well."
Pavelec said the Czechs shouldn’t be taken lightly.
"We’ve got experience and we’ve got skill. No one thought Czech Republic would do anything in 1998 and they won the gold medal," said Pavelec. "I remember that. It’s a short tournament and it’s all about who is hot at the right time."