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Jakub Voracek: Gearing up for the Russians

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Right winger Jakub Voracek was drafted seventh overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2007 and plays for the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL, where he has 50 points in 25 games. He is blogging exclusively for thehockeynews.com from his home nation while playing for the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championship.

We had our biggest win of the tournament Saturday, beating Slovakia 5-2. I had two assists and I feel that as a team it was our best game yet.

The crowd at the game was amazing, just as I expected. In the Czech Republic, fans bring drums to the game and sing along as they go. By the end of the game, the noise was incredible. It feels amazing to play in front of such a great crowd, especially in your home country.

The team is getting a lot of press at home. I have probably done 30 to 35 interviews since I arrived. We are all staying together at a hotel and on the few days that we are not playing, all I want to do is relax and enjoy the day. This tournament has a very hard schedule.

The other thing that is great about being home is the food. There is not a lot of Czech food in Halifax, so I am really enjoying the home cuisine while I can. The thing I miss most is Czech bread. I missed it a lot before I came back.

After the Slovakia game, we lost to Sweden, one of the best teams here. They have good offense, defense and goaltending, so as you can see, they are tough to beat. But anything can happen from here on in.

Some of the Czech players that North Americans might be interested in are Michael Frolik (Florida draft pick with Rimouski of the QMJHL), my linemate, as well as our two goaltenders, both from the OHL. Michal Neuvirth is a high pick of Washington who played in the Memorial Cup for Plymouth (now with Windsor) and Jakub Kovar (Philadelphia) plays for the Oshawa Generals.

We will face the Russians in the quarterfinal Wednesday and we must play like a team in order to win. Usually I like to pass the puck and set up others, but I will focus on scoring goals in very important games. I want to score in the Russian game.

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