Illustrative photo – Training of the Czech hockey team in the Daugava Arena, May 22, 2023, Riga.
Tampere (Finland) – Striker David Tomášek will return to the lineup of the Czech hockey players in today's quarter-final of the World Championship in Tampere with the United States of America, who only stayed in the stands on Tuesday in the final game in the basic group B against Canada (1:3). Assistant coach Libor Zábranský did not definitively confirm the goalie, but again indicated that it should be Karel Vejmelka, who caught in the last duel in Riga.
Photo gallery: Ice Hockey World Cup 2023
“As we know who will be catching for America, I have already indicated who will be in our goal. But let's leave the opponent to think about it until the last possible moment. We will go to seven defenders and thirteen forwards, David Tomášek is coming back to the game,” Zábranský told journalists after today's skating session.
Tomášek joined Michael Špaček and Daniel Voženielka in the fourth formation at training on Wednesday. Radan Lenc should be ready for the position of the thirteenth forward, because only players outside the lineup – forward Filip Chlapík, defender Ronald Knot and goalie Šimon Hrubec – completed this morning's skating session.
The Americans were the only undefeated in the tournament and lost only one point. “We are facing a very skating opponent who turns the game around quickly. They have a similar style to the Canadians, they take a lot of risks and believe in themselves. They absolutely do everything not to play in the defensive zone, they give everything out and with three players they immediately want to go to overnumber. Nothing easy awaits us, it's a match for everything and that's how we approach it,” said Zábranský.
He believes that the team will learn from the defeats against Switzerland (2:4) and Canada before the playoffs. “We had excellent things there, but also those that didn't work out for us. But that's gone. Now it's like the seventh game of the playoffs. Either, or else. But we believe that we'll be here until Sunday,” said Zábranský.
The Czechs will want to build on their performance from the second period against Canada. “Getting pucks out of the zone quickly. This is how we would like to present ourselves, be active, turn the game around quickly and play as little as possible in the defensive zone,” Zábranský pointed out. by his Finnish scout from the group in Tampere. “In the evening, we sat with him for an hour and he gave us information about how he saw America's matches in the group from the stands. His knowledge helps us a lot and we use it as our basis. In the morning, the boys will receive simple information at the meeting about how the opponent is playing and what we want,” added Zábranský .
“They have excellent players, but we don't want to focus on individuals, but on the team as a whole and their system. For each opponent, the boys have information about their top players and who to watch out for,” added Zábranský.
Probable lineup of the Czech Republic: Vejmelka – Kundrátek, Kempný, Košťálek, T. Dvořák, J. Zbořil, Jordán, Němeček – D. Kubalík, Sobotka, Červenka – O. Beránek, Černoch, Flek – M. Kaut, R. Zohorna, Smejkal – Tomášek, M. Špaček, D. Voženílek – Lenc.