Last year’s Worlds ended with Czechia on the podium for the first time in team history. It was also a historic moment for the tournament: the first time a new team earned a medal since 2012. Team Czechia will seek to repeat or improve upon last year’s third place performance in 2023.
Kateřina Zechovská (HC Příbram, EZH)
Blanka Škodová (Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth, NCAA DI)
Michaela Hesová (Bishop Kearney Selects, 19U AAA)
Sára Čajanová (Brynäs IF, SDHL)
Klára Jandušíková (Colby College, NCAA III)
Karolína Kosinová (HC Příbram, EZH)
Dominika Lásková (Toronto Six, PHF)
Daniela Pejšová (Luleå HF, SDHL)
Aneta Tejralová (Boston Pride, PHF)
Andrea Trnková (HC Příbram, EZH)
Klára Hymlárová (St. Cloud State Univ., NCAA DI)
Denisa Křížová (Minnesota Whitecaps, PHF)
Alena Mills (Brynäs IF, SDHL)
Natálie Mlýnková (Univ. of Vermont, NCAA DI)
Kateřina Mrázová (Connecticut Whale, PHF)
Noemi Neubauerová (Providence College, NCAA DI)
Tynka Pátková (Univ. of Vermont, NCAA DI)
Michaela Pejzlová (HIFK, Naisten Liiga)
Tereza Pištěková (TPS, Naisten Liiga)
Tereza Plosová (Bílí Tygři Liberec, EZH D2)
Vendula Přibylová (MoDo Hockey, SDHL)
Adéla Šapovalivová (HC Příbram, EZH and HC Berounští Medvědi, U15 and U17 3)
Tereza Vanišová (Toronto Six, PHF)
Three to Watch
With a forecheck and a scoring touch like this, Tereza Vanišová is someone that opposing teams should definitely be watching.
The top scorer for Czechia at the 2022 Olympics, Vanišová was unable to compete in the 2022 World Championship for health reasons, missing her team’s historic bronze medal win. After a successful season with the PHF's Toronto Six, Vanišová will retake her place on Czechia’s top line and have the chance to break teammate Alena Mills’s record for the most points scored with the national team.
With two NCAA championships to her name, a World Championship bronze, and a shiny new Naisten Liiga championship, Michaela Pejzlová’s trophy shelf might be getting a little crowded, but she’ll try and find room for another medal this year. Always a strong scorer, Pejzlová’s offense reached new heights this season with HIFK as she scored 32-50–82 in 31 games, then added 11 goals in the nine-game playoffs. Pejzlová will likely centering the second line for Czechia.
Not usually a high scorer, defender Daniela Pejšová led Team Czechia in points at the World Championship last year with five goals and four assists in seven games. She was named Top Defender by the directorate and was named to the tournament All-Star team by the media. She had 15 points in 30 games this season with Luleå HF, then added six more points in eight games of the playoffs to help her team with the SDHL championship.
With five players under 20 on the national team, Czechia has a bright future. The brightest star is 16-year-old Adéla Šapovalivová, whose rise to international prominence came on very suddenly after Covid delayed her IIHF debut. Her production at the 2022 U18 World Championship drew attention, and when she premiered with the senior national team a few months later at age 15, she cemented her spot by scoring three goals in seven games on the team’s top line. Now at just 16, expect her to be a strong offensive presence in Team Czechia’s top six.
Šapovalivová may be the most obvious young player to highlight, but I couldn’t go without mentioning Tereza Pištéková. At only 17, she was the second-leading scorer on TPK in the Naisten Liiga, tallying 14-26–40 in 34 games on a team that lost more games than it won. This was her first season playing a significant number of games against adults, and hopefully the scoring will follow her to the national team. On Tuesday, HPK announced she had signed a one-year contract to stay in the Naisten Liiga, but no doubt NCAA scouts will be keeping an eye on her at this tournament in case they can convince her to come play in North America in the future.
The Czech national team program has had a massive year, playing in their first-ever Olympics at Beijing in 2022, then getting a new general manager and coaching staff. They won their first-ever senior international medal (a bronze) under their first-ever female head coach in Carla MacLeod as well.
Czech women’s hockey has been on the rise for several years now, and the team seeks to continue their success and grow the game and earn respect at home. They will be without veteran goaltender Klára Peslarová, whose season-ending injury is a huge blow to the team’s medal aspirations, but getting back Vanišová will hopefully help balance things out.
Czechia’s first game will be against Japan. Czechia has not lost a game to Japan at the World Championships since 2012, in Division I; however, the last time they competed at an international tournament was at the 2022 Olympics, and Japan won in the shootout. Nothing should ever be taken for granted, but Czechia will be fresh for this game, while Japan will be playing their second game in two days after taking on the US the day before.
The next day, Czechia will play against Canada. Unless my research is lacking, Team Czechia has never played against Team Canada at the senior international level (though they have played both Finland and USA multiple times). Canada will have the advantage of a day off coming into this game, while Czechia will be coming off their game versus Japan.
Czechia will have a day to recover before facing the United States, who will also be fresh. These teams have met twice before at the senior level, at the 2022 Olympics and the 2022 World Championship. The US took the Olympic game 4-1, and the WC game 10-1. Czechia has had a lead on the US for 48 seconds of play. This will probably be a tough game.
For their final game in the group stage, Czechia will have a day off before taking on Switzerland, who will be playing their second game in two days. This will be a dramatic matchup, as it's a repeat of last year’s bronze medal game. Switzerland will likely be in better shape than last year, when they dressed only 17 players due to injuries and players contracting Covid-19. Czechia has the edge at ranking competitions, with three games won to Switzerland’s two (all at Worlds), but these European teams have also played in a number of pre-tournament events. They say familiarity breeds contempt, and if so, this should be a spicy game.
Every team in Group A automatically makes it to the quarterfinals. Czechia will have a day off before that game, which will be on April 13. If they lose, they will have a placement game the next day. If they win their quarterfinal matchup, they will have a day off before playing in the semifinals on April 15. The bronze medal game and the gold medal game will both take place on April 16, along with the final placement game.
All of the tournament's games will be streamed at tipsport.cz, where bets can also be placed.
In Czechia, ČT will broadcast Team Czechia games* on ČT Sport.
Game 1 against Japan will be at 9:00pm on April 6, and will be broadcasted again on April 7 at 12:10pm.
Game 2 against Canada will be at 1:30am on April 8, and will be broadcasted again later that day at 9:40am.
Game 3 against the US will be at 9:00pm on April 9, and will be broadcasted again on April 10 at 3:45 am and 9:10am.
Game 4 against Switzerland will be at 1:00am on April 11, and will be broadcasted again later that day at 9:10 am, as well as on April 13 at 6:40am, the morning of the quarterfinal games.
The quarterfinal matchup against Finland will be at 3:40 p.m. April 13, with a repeat broadcast at 11:55 p.m.
*This article will be updated with broadcast times for further games as they are posted.
In Canada, all games will be broadcasted on TSN channels.
Game 1 against Japan will be at 3:00pm on April 6, and broadcast on TSN5.
Game 2 against Canada will be at 6:30pm on April 7, and broadcast on TSN5.
Game 3 against the US will be at 3:00pm on April 9, and broadcast on TSN3.
Game 4 against Switzerland will be at 7:00pm on April 11, and broadcast on TSN5.
All four quarterfinal games on April 13 will be on TSN1.
The two placement games on April 14 will be on TSN5.
Both semifinal games on April 15 will be on TSN4.
The final placement game and the bronze medal game on April 16 will be on TSN4.
The gold medal game on April 16 will be on TSN1, TSN3, and TSN4.
In Québec, Team Canada games and select medal round games will be broadcast by RDS.
Game 2 against Canada will be broadcasted on RDS2 at 7:00pm on April 7, and again on April 8 at 9:30am.
The second quarterfinal game will be broadcasted on RDS2 at 1:30pm on April 13.
The third quarterfinal game will be broadcasted on RDS2 at 5:00pm on April 13, and again on April 14 at 7:00am.
The first semifinal game will be broadcasted on RDS at 12:00pm on April 15.
The second semifinal game will be broadcasted on RDS at 4:00pm on April 15.
The bronze medal game will be broadcasted on RDS2 at 3:00pm on April 16.
The gold medal game will be broadcasted on RDS at 7:00pm on April 16, and again on April 17 at 2:30pm.
In the US, Team USA games and select medal round games will be broadcast on NHL Network.
Game 3 against the US will be broadcasted on NHL Network at 3:00pm on April 9.
The second quarterfinal game will be broadcasted at 1:30pm on April 13.
The first semifinal game will be broadcasted at 12:00pm on April 15.
The gold medal game will be broadcasted at 7:00pm on April 16.