They have escaped the rest of the world and want to surprise the giants. Only medals, says the captain before the WC

They have escaped the rest of the world and want to surprise the giants. Only medals, says the captain before the WC
They have escaped the rest of the world and want to surprise the giants. Only medals, says the captain before the WC
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Recently, there has been a huge shift in Czech women’s hockey, so the adult national team does not have to be afraid of strong statements before the World Cup that nothing but medals are being won. Tonight, the Czechs will open the championship in America with a match against Finland and later they would like to try to disrupt their dominance overseas.

The successes of 2022 and 2023 injected a significant dose of self-confidence into the veins of the Czech female hockey players. The historically first bronze was followed up last year, so third place is the minimum goal this year at the World Championships in Utica.

“The Czechs are definitely a team worth watching. They are catching up with Canada and America and could surprise them in the medal battles,” noted journalist Ian Kennedy from The Hockey News magazine in his analysis.

On the official website of the tournament, they were more sober in their predictions of the Czech performance.

“The Czechs are probably still far from being able to challenge the North American selections in the fight for gold. On the other hand, they have already outstripped the others in the hunt for bronze,” wrote author Andrew Podnieks.

The wards of Canadian coach Carly MacLeodová belong to the stronger group A for the second year, where they will face the Finns, Americans, Canadians and Swiss in the regular part of the tournament.

All these teams are certain to advance to the quarter-finals, in which the top five will be joined by the three best teams from the weaker Group B. Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Japan and China will play there.

“We don’t have to stress, because we are sure of the playoffs. We mainly want to present ourselves with a good game that will entertain the fans and us. We always know how to find a way to success, and we also have fun doing it,” said the defender in an interview with Hokej.cz Daniela Pejšová.

Two years ago, she was a member of the All Star team at the World Cup, now she has a golden defense behind her with Lulea in the Swedish league. She managed all this at the age of 21.

The Czechs will also showcase younger stars in Utica, as the team also included three members of the silver selection from January’s under-18 championship in Zug. Adéla Šapovalivová, Terez Plosová and Anežka Čabelová are only seventeen.

The main supports should be the quartet of Denisa Křížová, Tereza Vanišová, Kateřina Mrázová and Aneta Tejralová, hockey players from the overseas PWHL.

In addition, Michaela Pejzlová, who in recent years has completely conquered the individual statistics of the Finnish league, or Klára Peslarová, considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

“The Czechs brought a really strong lineup,” Kennedy stated.

“We only take the medal,” declared captain Tejralová from the venue of the WC.

“We have a strong hockey base that we can bounce back from. Getting to the finals would be great, but that’s a long way off,” added Pejšová.

Finland managed to steal at least the silver from the North American couple five years ago. The other 21 final matches in the history of the Women’s World Cup have had the same line-up: Canada – USA.

The Czechs would like to be inspired in Utica by the campaign of the junior women in January, who defeated Canada in the semi-finals of their WC and only fell to America in the final.

“That was something unbelievable. I watched the whole thing at home, I was completely shocked by it, I experienced it terribly. It was another proof that we are moving forward as women’s hockey,” recalled Pejšová.

Women’s hockey in the Czech Republic has promising prospects before the premier home World Cup in 2025, which will be organized by České Budějovice, and before the 2026 Olympics in Italy. But now it’s time for the championship in Utica, New York.

The Czechs will enter it today from 21:00 against Finland. All matches of the women’s national team will be broadcast live by ČT sport.

The article is in Czech

Tags: escaped rest world surprise giants medals captain

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