Czech Republic vs. Kazakhstan WJC game recap

By Robert Neuhauser
Just 18 hours after they celebrated the 2:1 win over Sweden, the Czechs were again
in the CSKA Arena in Moscow to play a WJC game. This time it was one of the weaker teams of the Group A,
team of Kazakhstan. The Kazakhs had the confidence down after their 1:9 loss in the opener
against Team USA. So the Czechs had a compulsary win on the schedule. They could score some goals
and mainly take care of themselves, nobody wants to get injured in a game against a weaker team.
Only forward Vadim Sozinov, a Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick and an Ottawa 67’s player
is a more known player on this team. But about a half of this team are players born 1982 or younger
and they may have some chance at the NHL draft after they become more experienced. Because
this Kazakh team knows he is not going to win the WJC – they want to gain experience.But there may
be a little problem with the Czech hockey players at the international stage – when they’re going
to face an easy opponent, some of the players don’t give their maximal effort and say to themselves –
this are ONLY Kazakhs, we beat them anyway. So head coach Jaroslav Holik had to ensure that all of
the players are motivated. The teams went on the ice and it looked like he succeeded in this task.

Just after 2 minutes of the game Radim Vrbata stole the puck and went with Ladislav Vlcek on the net
of Kazakhstan. Vrbata passed the puck to Vlcek who deked the Kazakh goalie Kolyuzhny and scored the
first goal. But after three minutes Vadim Sozinov showed why is he a Maple Leafs draft choice and
why is he able to compete in the OHL – he used his speed to create a breakaway – fired a shot at
Tomas Duba, who turned it off, but Sozinov knocked the puck off the air to tie the game at 1.

By this time the Czech players had to say to themselves “What? They tied the game? How
is that possible?” Rostislav Klesla was strictly against it and so after another 4 minutes he
fired a shot behind Kolyuzhny’s back – 2:1. Then came 2 hilight minutes of captain Michal Sivek,
he assisted on a goal scored by Martin Erat in the 11th minute and scored a marker of his own
just second later, assisted by Marek Tomica. The coaches used 4 complete lines in this game, in
the first game was the line of Jakub Grof – Jan Choteborsky, Ivan Rachunek – Lukas Havel – Patrik Moskal
scratched, so the players wanted to show the coaches that they belong to the starting lineup.
After a play of Jakub Grof Brampton Battalion forward Lukas Havel fed Jan Choteborsky with the
puck, who fired a slap shot on Kolyuzhny to end the period at 5:1.

The winner was clear, so in the second period the Czechs reduced the tempo of the game and their
motivation really wasn’t so high than in the first period. The only problem were the bad
penalties taken by the Czechs, coach Holik raved on Jan Vytisk who had a minor for roughing when
he wanted to start a fight with an opponent who played aggresive in front of Tomas Duba. But
the Kazakhs weren’t able to score even on a long two-man advantage, the Czechs scored 3 powerplay
goals in this contest. In the second period the fourth line scored once again, Ivan Rachunek was
the scorer and Jan Choteborsky assisted. That was with 1 minute left in the period. Just seconds
later Pavel Brendl finally scored his shorthanded marker, one that he deserved after creating
scoring opportunities with a teammate in the penalty box. 7:1 after 40 minutes, no trouble here.
After 8 minutes of the final period, in which the Czech team used again only 3 lines, Michal Sivek
scored his second goal in the game and after another 8 minutes Lukas Havel closed the scoresheet at 9:1.
The score was the same just as in the first Kazakh game against USA. So everything was OK,
the Czechs have the quarterfinals sure and no one is injured. So they can enjoy the free day
and prepare for the game against USA, which can decide who will win the A group.

Kazakhstan - Czech Republic 1:9 (1:5, 0:2, 0:2)

Scoring summary
First period - 2. Ladislav Vlcek (Vrbata) 0:1
               5. Vadim Sozinov (Azanov) 1:1
               9. Rostislav Klesla (Cutta, Blatny) 1:2
              11. Martin Erat (Sivek) 1:3
              12. Michal Sivek (Tomica) 1:4
              16. Jan Choteborsky (Grof, Havel) 1:5

Second period - 39. Ivan Rachunek (Choteborsky) 1:6
                40. Pavel Brendl (Nedorost, Blatny) 1:7

Third Period - 48. Michal Sivek (Vrbata) 1:8
               56. Lukas Havel (Klesla) 1:9

Powerplays - Kazakhstan 0/10
             Czech Republic 3/11

Individual player scoring
                              Goals  Assists  Points
Rostislav Klesla                1       1       2
Libor Ustrnul                   0       0       0
David Nosek                     0       0       0
Jakub Cutta                     0       1       1
Jan Vytisk                      0       0       0
David Pojkar                    0       0       0
Jakub Grof                      0       1       1
Jan Choteborsky                 1       1       2
Pavel Brendl                    1       0       1
Vaclav Nedorost                 0       1       1
Zdenek Blatny                   0       2       2
Radim Vrbata                    0       2       2
Tomas Plekanec                  0       0       0
Ladislav Vlcek                  1       0       1
Martin Erat                     1       0       1
Michal Sivek                    2       0       2
Marek Tomica                    0       1       1
Ivan Rachunek                   1       0       1
Lukas Havel                     1       1       2
Patrik Moskal                   0       0       0

Team scoring leaders
                               Goals  Assists  Points
Michal Sivek                    2       1       3
Rostislav Klesla                1       2       3
Zdenek Blatny                   0       3       3
Martin Erat                     2       0       2
Jan Choteborsky                 1       1       2
Lukas Havel                     1       1       2
Radim Vrbata                    0       2       2
Pavel Brendl                    1       0       1
Ladislav Vlcek                  1       0       1
Ivan Rachunek                   1       0       1
Jakub Cutta                     0       1       1
Jakub Grof                      0       1       1
Vaclav Nedorost                 0       1       1
Marek Tomica                    0       1       1
          Other players scoreless