World Championship Day 1 – Voracek scores, Gustafsson plays top D role

With the World Championships underway and a large number of current and former Flyers taking part, I wanted to provide quick updates of the tournament which will be focused mainly on current and former Flyers players. Yesterday three Flyers got a chance to play for their respective national teams – Jake Voracek, Erik Gustafsson and Marcel Noebels.

Czech Republic – Belarus 2-0

Jake Voracek 1 goal 0 assists (PPG)

Team Czech Republic hasn’t lost in the World Championship opening game for as long as I can remember. They proved that yesterday against Belarus. The game was a bit boring but still the Czech earned a victory. Today they’re going to play with Sweden. Jake Voracek played like he did all year long. Many Czech fans can be surprised with his performance this year but all I can say is that he’s proving why he won the Bobby Clarke Trophy.

France – Slovakia 2-6

Slovakia won their first against one of the weakest opponents – France. Former Flyer Branko Radivojevic, last year’s Slovak hero, scored a goal while former All-Star goalie Cristobal Huet allowed 5 goals in 45 minutes.

Sweden – Switzerland 2-3

Gustafsson 0 goals 0 assists

Team Switzerland surprised everyone with a win against strong contender from the north of Europe. The Swedes couldn’t answer the first two goals. They got back on track at the end of the second period but that wasn’t enough to make a comeback. Gustafsson played a very good game and was very strong defensively. It was obvious that he made a big step in his game.

Finland – Germany 4-3 OT

Noebels 0 goals 0 assists

This game was the best game of the first day. Germany was losing during the first two periods but Christian Ehroff tied the game at two and Ankert put Germany ahead by one just three minutes before the end of the third. Unfortunately for Germany, Finland tied it one minute before the end of the regulation and Salminen put the game winner in just two minutes into the overtime. Marcel Noebels played on the third line.

Here’s a short interview with Jake Voracek after the game:

Did that game meet your expectations?

We had it under control. They were waiting for us on their blue line and they were following us in the defensive zone. They were in the game for the first 40 minutes and then they gave up. We couldn’t score on 5-on-5 but our power play and penalty kill worked very well.

Do you think that you lost a lot of energy during the game?

We were okay, we knew that we were playing well even though the first game is always tricky. I thought that I would be out of my game. Our line had a few good chances. The most important thing is to have a goalie who can play on top of his game. Then you can play a lot better.

Did your first game help you mentally?

I’m always fine but I’m glad that I scored.

You’re going to play Sweden on Saturday, that would be a whole different game…

We’re going to rest and we’re going to prepare ourselves. I need to sleep at first because it’s very tough to get asleep. Team Sweden is the contender, that’s for sure. Moreover they’re playing home and they have a very good defense. My Flyers teammate Erik Gustafsson is playing on their team. He’s a great guy, I’m happy that he got the nod.