Mrazova leads Czech Republic to 6-3 victory with three-point performance
by Mark Staffieri
ROCKLAND, Ont. – A hard skating match with great determination was the theme of this exhibition match at the Canadian International Hockey Academy. After a visceral 10-1 loss to Finland this past Friday in Smith Falls, Ont., the Czech Republic was hoping for a better result against the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees.
And that’s exactly what they got loss Sunday night, with a 6-3 win over the local university squad that competes in Canadian Interuniversity Sport.
Cassie Seguin, an alumna with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team, was the starting goaltender for the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees. During the first period, she was a solid presence between the pipes, as the Gee-Gees were out shot. Denisa Krizova of the Czech Republic was the first player to test Seguin, showing off one powerful shot.
Following Krizova, Lucie Povova shot in heavy traffic, but Seguin was prepared. Klara Chmelova, who once attended the CIH Academy in Rockland, the very ice she played on Sunday evening, weaved her way through traffic, but Seguin stoned her as well.
Eventually, Seguin would get some offensive support as Maude Laramee buried the puck past Katerina Becevova for the 1-0 lead. Laramee would add to her own cause, as she scored again. After nearly tripping near centre ice, Laramee kept her composure while earning her second goal of the night.
Despite the 2-0 setback, the Czechs showed no signs of quit. With only 9.7 seconds left, Denisa Krizova got on the score sheet and reduced the Gee-Gees lead in half.
Heading into the second stanza, the Czechs built on the momentum of their late first period goal. Katerina Mrazova led the offensive charge, as she scored at the 3:25 mark on the clock to tie the score.
After the first 11 minutes of the period, the Gee-Gees offense was stifled by a stingy Czech defense. The number of shots was 13-1 in favour of the Czechs. Shortly afterwards, Caitlin Fowler would stand between the pipes for the Gee-Gees.
The Czechs would continue their relentless attack on offense. Mrazova would lead the charge again as she scored another goal. After the goal, the Czechs enjoyed a 16-3 advantage in shots. At the 15:37 mark of the second, Krizova added to the Czech lead with an unassisted tally.
Despite a valiant performance by the Gee-Gees, their offense struggled. Near the end, the Gee-Gees thought they had scored. With a crowded crease, the goal was disallowed.
While the Gee-Gees faced a two goal deficit, there was no sign of giving up. Fowler was courageous in net as she tried to keep the Gee-Gees competitive. With 16:46 left in the frame, Gee-Gees captain Fannie Desforges, who also happens to be the 2012 Red Bull Crashed Ice champion, scored a goal to make the score 4-3.
With a penalty to Katerina Flachsova, the Gee-Gees were hoping to tie the score. With Laramee on the ice, she was hoping to score the hat trick. Despite their best efforts, Becevova kept the Gee-Gees off the score sheet.
As time was ticking, the Czech defense was able to contain the Gee-Gees. With 7:44 remaining, Chmelova would score the fifth goal of the contest as the Czech Republic gained momentum. Mrazova was credited with the assist, providing her with her third point of the contest.
The final goal of the contest would also be scored by the Czech Republic as Povova’s persistence throughout the game paid off with a goal at the 16:02 mark. While the Gee-Gees tried to mount a comeback, it was not meant to be. Becevova managed to keep the opposition off the score sheet as the squad enters the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship with a well-deserved sense of confidence.
THE MOMENT: Czech Republic @ University of Ottawa – Sunday, March 31
by Mark Staffieri
ROCKLAND Ont. – Having scored twice for the Czech Republic, Katerina Mrazova staked her claim as one of the best women’s hockey players in Europe. A week before, Mrazova helped the Boston Blades yin the 2013 Clarkson Cup, the trophy awarded annually to the Canadian Women’s Hockey League champions With the victory, Mrazova became the first European player to win the coveted Clarkson Cup.
With such remarkable momentum, Mrazova graced the ice at the Canadian International Hockey Academy in Rockland with a determination to make things happen Sunday night. Even when the Czechs faced a 2-0 deficit, Mrazova maintained her composure. Her hard skating and dogged determination would help lead the comeback.
When Mrazova scored the second goal of the game for the Czechs, it not only tied the game, but restored her team’s confidence. Mrazova would score again in the second period to give the Czechs a 3-2 advantage.
Throughout the whole contest, Mrazova displayed her superlative skills on the frozen perimeter. A no-look pass between her skates to Pavlina Horalkova drew the attention of the fans. Behind the Gee-Gees net, she weaved her way through traffic and made another backhand pass to Horalkova.
Her crisp passes and strong skating brought great confidence to the Czech squad. It would pay dividends when she earned the assist on the fifth goal of the game for the Czechs. The goal was scored by Klara Chmelova, who once attended the CIH Academy in Rockland. Fittingly, Mrazova would have the last shot of the game as said game was a celebration of her great skills.