Source: Cesky Hokej
After the preparatory camp in Chomutov, the Czechs presented themselves on the international stage in style. The bronze medalists from the last World Championship confirmed the calling card of the best European team at the Euro Hockey Tour despite the initial point loss. Against the Finns, they struggled for the lead from the very beginning, which they still held after half an hour of the game, mainly thanks to Denisa Křížová’s hat trick, but then the Suomi hockey players began to dominate, they overcame the Czech resistance with three goals, and Michaela Pejzlova’s last goal turned out to be only cosmetic in the end score adjustment. In the frantic end, the Czechs could no longer score and fell narrowly 4:5. “I don’t think they were much better. It was a classic up and down match. But they went to the goal more, had more shots and chances. They were probably better at this. We have to focus more on the ending,
But the Lionesses quickly put the first game behind them and won full points against the Swedes. Although the Tre Kronor girls quickly took a two-goal lead, Carly MacLeod’s selection produced a brilliant turnaround to celebrate a 4-3 win. “It was a good match for us. The Swedes flew at us, they were more active, which led to a few mistakes on our part, but I really liked how we were able to get back into the match,” praised the Czech coach.
The Czechs made up for the unsuccessful start against Sweden in the following duel. They confirmed their rising performance curve in the revenge against the home hockey players, who scored three goals in just the first quarter of an hour. “Our goal is always to start well, fast and play hard. Maybe only in the match against Sweden did the opponents overpower us in the first ten minutes. We are trying to have a good start, we managed to do that today,” Carla MacLeodová evaluated the game of the national team. Great shooting productivity and forward activity bore the desired fruit three more times, and after a 6:2 result, the Czech Republic avenged their opponents’ initial defeat.
Finally came the revenge against Tre Kronor’s selection. The Lionesses built a three-goal lead by the halfway point of the match, which the Swedes almost managed to match, but thanks to the excellent performances of both Czech goalkeepers, the national team celebrated a hard-fought victory 3:2. “I think we were able to create a lot of scoring opportunities. And that’s exactly what we want from the match. Sweden is a quality team. It took advantage of a few moments when we weren’t quite 100 percent. But our goalkeepers made a lot of good saves. I don’t take the fact that it was able to equalize with a single goal difference as a negative. The important thing is that we were able to keep the match on our side and win,” Carla MacLeodová evaluates the duel.
The improving performances and three wins in a row eventually ensured the Czech Republic nine points and first place in the tournament ahead of the runner-up Finland. “The whole week was great and very valuable for us in terms of the result. It is a demonstration that our performance is still growing and improving. During the week we focused on a lot of details and I think we are stronger in many ways. We managed to play the last match much more evenly. We didn’t do that very well in the previous races. I’m really proud of the team for the effort they put into it,” the Canadian coach praises the performance of her charges.