Philadelphia Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek is playing for Team Czech Republic at the World Cup of Hockey 2016. The 27-year-old has agreed to keep a diary throughout the tournament, which started in Toronto on Sept. 17 and runs through Oct. 1.
In this installment, Voracek talks about Team Czech Republic's loss to Team Europe in the second preliminary-round game and about seeking motivation before the last preliminary-round game against Team USA on Thursday.
TORONTO -- Two games, one point. What can I say? It's obviously not enough, obviously not what we were looking for.
Our disappointment after the 3-2 overtime loss against Team Europeis huge. We played better hockey than in the first game against Team Canada. We played more with the puck, were more calm, we had better power plays than last time. But in the end, we lost in overtime despite all of that.
We started slow. They had a lot of shots in the first and second periods. Forty-one shots on our goal was too much again; I think this number should be somewhere around 30 shots per game maximum. But I don't think it's just about shots on goal. We didn't have that many, but we had some good chances too. It was an even game. And our goalie Petr Mrazek played great, he gave us a chance to win.
I finally managed to score. I tried to shoot the puck a lot, anytime I had a chance. I felt fine on the line with Martin Hanzal and Milan Michalek. We skated well and our forechecking worked.
Video: EUR@CZE: Voracek scores with a quick release
In the third period we went hard for the win. We knew we needed two points and we wanted to get them in regulation and not let it come into an overtime gamble. We had some great opportunities before the end of the third period, but unfortunately we didn't score that third goal and they capitalized in overtime. The disappointment is huge because we feel we could have won the game.
We talk about it again and again, yet we still do the same thing: too many penalties and too many mistakes. Six penalties was too much against such a good team, and although they didn't capitalize on their power play and our penalty killing was good, it gets you out of the rhythm and helps the other team get momentum.
I went twice to the penalty box this time. But I don't feel guilty. The first penalty, the referee sent me there for hooking when I was just lift-checking the opponent's stick. And the other one I cross-checked Mats Zuccarello, but he had gotten into the crease and interfered with our goalie, so I think the both of us should have gotten a penalty.
But it's over and we can't do anything about it now. All we can do is to get ready for the next game against Team USA. We feel we still have a lot of motivation. This is not some exhibition game, this is the World Cup. No matter if we have a chance to advance or not, we have to use a 1,000 percent approach and we have to win that game.
Tuesday, we had a day off. It was nice to forget about hockey for a while after those two games and clear our heads a bit. I've spent the day relaxing and being together with my parents and my niece who are here in Toronto to support me and our team, and it was a nice day.
But now it's back to hockey again; we have to make sure we do our best to get ready for the game against Team USA. We want to prove we can be better than what we've shown here so far and win that game for our fans, who have come a long way to see us here.