Prague, Czech Republic—The Czech National Women's Ice Hockey Team announced that Brown sophomore Alena Polenska has been named captain for its Olympic Development Team.
Polenska, is native of Kutna Hora, Czech Republic and will begin her sophomore year at Brown this fall. She was the Bears' second leading scorer a year ago with 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists).
"We are breaking with tradition in naming our captain so soon, but we feel that team building will be a big part of our success and we are dependent upon Alena's leadership from the onset," said National Team coach, Karel Manhart.
Polenska has been one of the most significant players in Czech women's hockey. At the 2008 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) U18 World Championships, she was team MVP of the bronze medal-winning Czech team.
"This are critical time in Czech women's hockey and what we do over the next year will have a long-term impact on the future of the game," said national team asst. coach, James Craig. "We are at a cross-road and there are few Czech players, male or female, who command the level of respect that Alena Polenska does. There is a lot of responsibility that will go with this appointment and we certain that Alena is the woman our country can depend on."
The Czech team missed qualifying for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games by a single goal in a game against China. The Czech Olympic Development Team was created to focus resources on qualification for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
The Czech National Team coaching staff has indicated that the roster of primary and alternate players for the Olympic Development Team will be finalized and named in early November. Team staff further indicated that that in all likelihood alternate captains would not be named until just prior to competitions and the team may use a series of alternates to test the leadership abilities of various team members.