How does it feel to win the Gold for your country on home soil? “It’s one of the best moments of my life for sure. We worked hard to win the gold and it’s nice that we could win it at home,” golden-goal scorer Aneta Ledlova said.
None of the teams could build up more than one-goal lead in regulation and it had to be decided in overtime. “These are all tight games. Every mistake counts and these opponents can take advantage of them. Unfortunately, we had to go into OT with them but I am really glad we managed to pull that off. It doesn’t matter now how we won. The fact that we won is important,” she said with gold medal on her chest.
It was her whose shot found it’s way into the net, even though with some unintentional help of American goalie. “I don’t even know how it went in. I just saw a loose ball so I turned around with it and shoveled it on net. And suddenly the ref pointed towards the goal,” she describes one of the most important goals of her hockey career. “Then you don’t really care how it crossed the line. I didn’t even know who scored it. It was so emotional,” Ledlova said just minutes after the game.
Moments of joy as Ledlova just won the Cup for the Czech Republic.
How did she feel about her side’s performance in the crucial game? “They played with two lines, we had three full lines and we even rotated some other players with them so we weren’t as tired. They even said they were in the end,” she tried to find some bits behind her team’s success. “They tried to play dump & chase, but I think we made the plays since second period. We just wanted to get the lead and the hold on to it. It didn’t happen in regulation but we won and that is what counts.”
However, it was the US team that took the lead with their first power play of the game. “In these games, the special teams are so important. We scored on power play as well. The refs allowed some smaller fouls which I think was good. It’s really dangerous to go shorthanded in these games,” Aneta Ledlova knows.
The momentum from third period where the Czechs took the lead twice could have been one of the reasons that tipped the scales in their favor in OT. “Sure, it’s always better to be in lead and not to trail all the time. That is really difficult to handle mentally,” Ledlova says before heading to celebrate with her teammates. “I don’t think anything can beat this for me anytime soon.”