The third goal of the game came from Hana Haasova’s stick with a minute left to play in the second period. Thanks to this marker, she came back to lead all players at the tournament in goals and points – a position she now shares with Russia’s Kristi Shashkina, who also has three goals and four points.
IIHF.com sat down with 16-year-old talent to talk about her ice hockey career and expectations from 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship.
When you scored the third goal of the tournament against Slovakia, it helped your team reach the quarter-finals. How did you feel?
It was unbelievable. I can’t explain it, we were so happy. Whenever I score it’s always special. Now we are looking forward to our next game.
Was it something special for you to score against the host Slovakia?
No. I absolutely didn’t feel that it could be some kind of rival game. From my side, it was still a game like every other. I always go at full throttle, no matter who I play against.
How hard was that game?
We were humble, but we believed in ourselves. We knew they are for the first time in the top division, and they play in front of the home crowd. Despite that we brought the game to our side and won it.
You clinched top spot in Group B and now you are heading to the quarter-finals against Finland. Do you expect hard game?
Absolutely, yes. We’ll go to that clash same as we did with Slovakia. On the other side, we trust in ourselves and we believe we can win it.
You are the scoring leader of the tournament. You have scored in every game so far. Are you enjoying the tournament right now?
Yeah. It’s a great feeling, but it’s not only about me. I have to give credit to the whole team, all girls really have helped me to be at this position.
Did you expect that you would do so well?
Absolutely not. I never dreamed that I could be the tournament’s scoring leader. We came here to make success as a team, so I didn’t think about individual achievements at all. But it’s a very good feeling that I scored in every game so far. It’s fun for me right now.
Let’s talk about your beginnings. Who brought you to hockey?
My dad with my brother. But more my father. Due to his goalie career I have always had ice hockey around me. We are hockey family, so I didn’t have a choice.
Ice hockey is still more popular among men. Was it for you as a girl something special in those years?
When I was little, I didn’t feel it that way. I always had my brothers around me, so I never experienced ice hockey just for girls. Until I was 13, I even didn’t know that women’s hockey exists at all. I was just growing up with the boys.
Your father is a respected goalie coach. Has he tried to put you into the net at the beginning?
Yes, he has. But after couple of practices I realized I don’t want to be in this position. I decided to score goals, rather than preventing the pucks from going into the net.
What do you want to achieve in your hockey career?
I really would like to go to study physiotherapy at a university in the USA and always be around ice hockey.
Any dreams of playing as a pro in North America?
Well, that is still far away right know. I will see.