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Player Diaries

World Cup diary: Jakub Voracek

Team Czech Republic forward dissects preliminary round loss to Team Europe, expectations for next game

by Jakub Voracek / Special to

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 Canada in the first preliminary round game, what went wrong and how the team needs to learn from it before the second game against Team Europe on Monday.

TORONTO -- It's the day after we lost our first game at the World Cup to Canada and we know we have a lot to learn from it.

It's hard to say whether the loss was too cruel or not. If we lost 6-0, with how we played in the first 10 minutes, then we could talk about it. But not after how it happened.

The first 10 minutes we played good hockey. We had some quality scoring chances, our legs were rolling, we played a good forecheck and I think we played well in front of their net. But after we got scored on, we started to make too many mistakes and we stopped skating. When you don't skate, you don't get to those scoring positions and it's tough to create any opportunities.

Even after the third Team Canada goal in the last seconds of the first period, there was still a lot of time to do something. We still had 40 minutes to score. And we didn't score a single goal. The second period was the worst from us. In the third, we kind of found our game but it was already too late, especially against such an experienced team as Team Canada.

Sidney Crosby scored three points in the first period and I think he's shown why he is the best player in the world. But not just him. Their entire line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand played terrific. They were great on forecheck, pushed us hard, forced turnovers and did those little things that made the difference.

Despite the six goals against, I think our goalie Michal Neuvirth played well. But they drove hard to the net, they were hungrier and pushed us back. We have to learn from that and be ready for the next game against Team Europe on Monday (3 p.m. ET; ESPN2, SN, TVA Sports).

Our goal before the tournament was to win two games and we still have two games ahead of us. We lost the first one, our performance was far from our expectations. But all in all, it was just the first game.

But if we want to win, we have to change a lot of things. The most important one is we have to skate the entire 60 minutes. In our own zone, we can't just stand still, we have to move our legs all the time. On offense, we have to crash the net and keep skating and forechecking well as we did in the first 10 minutes against Team Canada.

I've watched about half of Team Europe's game against Team USA and I think they played great hockey. You could see how experienced those guys were. Their team is very powerful and we have to play with responsibility. If we eliminate mistakes, bad penalties and we keep skating through the entire game, we definitely have a good chance to win.

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