They could appear to be competing with each other from a distance. First, the Czech captain scored twice, the Brno Kometa student answered with the same measure at the end of the middle 20 minutes.
At 53:16 he added a third accurate shot, Kulich got his hat trick only 119 seconds later. “I have never experienced anything like this before,” Šalé smiled.
His cooperation with the biggest star of the national team in the first duel did not go according to expectations. But it’s hard to blame the pair of attackers, the overwhelming majority of players gave a bad performance against the Slovaks.
“The match didn’t go well for us, maybe even against the Norwegians we had it in our heads a little at the beginning. The main thing is that we managed it this time,” Šalé said with satisfaction.
WC in hockey under 20 years
Patrik Augusta eliminated him from the elite attack, the eighteen-year-old started in the second formation next to Matyáš Melovský and Robin Sapoušek. Adam Bareš moved to Kulich and Matyáš Šapovaliva.
“I didn’t deal with it, we talked normally about everything with the coaches. The tournament is long, more changes may follow. Now we succeeded, we got a kick out of it,” reported one of the two authors of the hat trick.
His goals came at the right time. The Czechs led 3:1 when Šalé pushed the defender Papuga while attacking, forced him to make a mistake and swept the puck into the net with a brilliant backhand finish.
Watch Eduard Šalé’s first goal against Norway:
Less than six minutes later, he best found his way in the area in front of the goal and further emphasized the lead. He completed the hat-trick in a power play after an ideally timed pass from Adam Bareš.
The crossbar denied him the fourth goal. “It’s a beauty, Šalina deserves it. A great and smart boy who knows where to shoot,” Kulich singled out his younger partner.
Šalé hopes to bounce back to better performances at the championship in Sweden. After training camp in Seattle, he headed to the OHL (Ontario Hockey League)where he is still looking around.
In twenty-five starts, he collected twenty-one points (7+14), in the productivity table of one of the leading junior competitions overseas, he is in 118th place. No flop, but more was expected from the 20th pick of this year’s draft.
Šalé is currently putting club duties aside, concentrating on success with the national team. A successful performance in the second game of the tournament could help not only him, but also the entire team.
“The Norwegians were resilient but we broke them. It’s good that we scored some goals. But then again, it’s not that kind of scalp. We must not rest on our laurels and prepare for the Americans,” said the Czech attacker.
And at the same time, he promised that in the next matches he will try to work on goal celebrations as well: “I can’t show my emotions too much, I’ve been blamed for it since I was a child. I have to look at it and get better!”