Gunner Dominik Kubalík scored the winning goal in a five-on-three powerplay to secure a 2-0 win over Norway for the Czech hockey players at the World Championship in Riga and confirmed his excellent shooting form at the tournament.
With seven goals in one world championship, he equaled the record of an independent Czech national team – he imitated the feats of Martin Procházka, Vladimír Vůjtek (both 1997), Michael Frolík (2019) and David Pastrňák (2022). However, the Detroit striker was above all happy for the win, the quick progress to the quarter-finals and believes that he has goals hidden for key matches as well.
“I don’t care about it now, even if it’s nice to listen to. It’s nice, but I’ll appreciate it later. I hope I’m not done and that it will continue to do well. I don’t intend to change anything and I hope it falls to me or others, Kubalík told journalists.
Procházka scored seven goals at the World Cup in Finland in 1997 in the ninth match, Vůjtek in the eighth, Frolík (played a total of 10 matches) in Bratislava and Pastrňák also in Finland last year in the seventh. Kubalík managed it in five duels.
“You can’t compare it. Every match and tournament is different. Pasta is rebounded, not so much for me. This is how I would evaluate it,” he did not want to compare himself to one of the NHL’s best scorers.
He can become the Czech record holder, he still has at least three more matches in the tournament – against Switzerland, Canada and the quarterfinals. The record from the time of the Czechoslovak national team is unsurpassable, as Vladimír Zábrodský scored 29 goals in seven duels in 1947 when he won the gold for the first time.
Kubalík dedicated his goal to his wife Klara for today’s birthday. The family requested him directly in the audience with a banner. “I tried to be able to give her a present. I think the goal and the victory fulfilled it,” Kubalík said. The challenge banner surprised him. “It was just here. I don’t even know where they picked it up, if it was in the fanzone. But it was cool to see.”
He was glad that family members had arrived at the scene. During his last appearance at the championship in 2019, it was also not possible in Riga due to measures due to the coronavirus.
“It’s great. Of course, you want to have those closest to you. You don’t want to be alone. Everyone who is here puts hockey out of their minds, goes to a cafe, talks about something else. Whether it’s children, families, wives, it’s fine. I’m glad that we were able to give them victory today,” said the 27-year-old student of Pilsen.
He praised the promotion to the quarterfinals after only five duels in the basic group B. “It’s something we wanted. Now we have two games waiting for us, which will be a big test and for which we are here,” Kubalík said.
He was satisfied that the Czech team secured today’s three-point win without any problems. “The 2-0 result doesn’t quite match it, but I think we still had a chance to score more goals. We had two goals on our own, but it didn’t happen. Apart from the second period, when we offered them power plays, it was good, ” reminded Kubalík eleven minutes into the weakening in the middle part.
“Obviously, the second period cost us a lot of strength, it fell on us, we had a lot of exclusions. This is something we don’t want to put the opponent on the horse. On the other hand, our boys did a fantastic job in weakening and what passed was caught by Karel (Vejmelka ). We blocked a lot of shots. Great for me,” Kubalík added.
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