Czech Republic's Katerina Mrazova Enters IIHF Worlds by Making Hockey History

Mark StaffieriContributor IIApril 2, 2013

Image by Mark Staffieri
Image by Mark Staffieri

Heading into the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Championships, Katerina Mrazova enters the event with remarkable momentum. Having spent the 2012-13 season in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, Mrazova made her own hockey history by becoming the first European player to win the Clarkson Cup.

The historic feat occurred on March 23, 2013, as the Boston Blades defeated the Montreal Stars. “It is special for me that I can win with the Blades. I am so happy, so blessed. This is a dream for every player.”

With very few Europeans in the CWHL, Mrazova was very grateful for the opportunity to compete with the Boston Blades. “It is definitely good for Czech players that they can play here. I always hope I can help when I play for this awesome team (Boston). Playing here makes you better.”

At the beginning of the season, Mrazova was not certain as to whether she was able to excel at such a high level of play in the CWHL. Having ended her season with a Clarkson Cup, the results speak for themselves, “I am so excited that I can play. When I started the season, I did not know if I could play in this league. This is awesome for me.”

Blades head coach Digit Murphy, who has participated in the IIHF Mentorship and Ambassador Program has enjoyed having had the opportunity to coach Mrazova this season. “She is a treat to have on the bench”

Mrazova also speaks highly of her head coach. “I learned a lot from Digit. She is a good coach. To play with Winter Games players (such as Caitlin Cahow and Hilary Knight of the United States) is good for me. To be around players that are better than me, it helps me. My game is always improving.”

Similar to another player in the CWHL (Olivia Sutter with Team Alberta), Mrazova is benefiting from her experience in the growing league as an opportunity to return to the collegiate level and enhance her education. “For now, I just play hockey. I did not to college this year because of my English. I still struggle with it. Next season, I am supposed to play at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.”

Along with Mrazova, two other members of the Czech National Team compete in the NCAA. Ironically, both are also in the New England area. Lucie Povova competes with the Northeastern Huskies (Boston), while Alena Polenska competes at Brown University (Providence). Of note, Polenska played for Digit Murphy in her freshman campaign.

In being recruited by the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, Mrazova has the opportunity to play for head coach Shannon Miller. Miller led Canada to the gold medal at the 1997 IIHF Women’s Worlds in Kitchener, Ontario and a silver medal at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games. The opportunity to play under Miller’s guidance is one that Mrazova is looking forward to, “Absolutely! I am excited. It is the next step in my career.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”