The Omicron variant has derailed a lot of things lately, from restaurants to social events, and the hockey world is no exception. Talk to Jean Messack.
The Canadians approached the World Junior Championships in an enviable role: that of the captain of the Czech Republic. He finally had time to play two matches before the tournament was called off due to the outbreak between teams.
Misak is scheduled to jump on board on Friday morning to join his junior club, Hamilton Bulldogs. But their game scheduled for Friday night has been canceled due to COVID-19 cases at Barrie Colts.
That’s not forgetting the Habs, who have their own challenges – 12 players are signed up to the squad under the protocol governing COVID-19. Since CH also suffers from a range of injuries, Mysak is technically two absent attackers from being able to play! Cam Helles (reserve team) and Jean-Sebastien Dia (Laval) are the only healthy forwards in the organisation, with an NHL contract, who did not play Thursday night against the Hurricanes.
So, does he start glancing nervously at his phone in hopes of probably getting reminders?
“No, I don’t really think about it, and I don’t think they’ll call me again,” Mysak said frankly in a phone interview. “I think they would be right.
“But I watch Canadian matches on TV with my friends. I keep a close eye on the players I played with with the Rocket last year. In the last game, Rafael Harvey Benard scored his first goal, and I was really happy for him! He is a great guy and a great teammate.”
disappointed to others
From Edmonton, Misak speaks to us on Thursday noon, while waiting for his flight the next day.
The Canadians’ selection for the second round in 2020 is a reality: he was not expected to stay in Alberta until the end of the Junior World Championships. His team fell with dignity 6-3 to Canada, not leading 3-1 in the first half. Then the Czechs lost 2-1 to Germany, a match in which Misak scored the only goal for his team.
“I think we could have reached the quarter-finals,” he said.
He was deeply disappointed by the cancellation of the tournament after only two matches, although he was well aware of what was to come. The Czech Republic was one of the countries with at least one positive case in its ranks; His match against Finland was canceled a few hours before the tournament.
“I always get up early on match days. I get up early to fight a duel against Finland. At 6 am we got a message warning us that the team had tested positive and the match was cancelled. I thought it was out of my control, but I was going to get ready for the next day against Austria. After lunch We were called to an emergency meeting. Our general manager told us the tournament was over. It was a disappointment to everyone. It was completely silent, and no one spoke.”
Misak was disappointed, but was more with his teammates as he was in his junior world three. He lived the 2021 edition behind closed doors, but above all, the 2020 edition, at his home, in the Czech Republic.
“Honestly, I was very fortunate to experience the championship at home,” said the striker. The arena was full, and there were 12,000 spectators. It was a great experience. Last year, we played in front of empty stands. I feel bad for those who didn’t get the chance to play in front of the fans. It’s so beautiful, it’s different. ”
In theory, Mysak’s season will continue in the Ontario Junior League (OHL). For the time being, the department is maintaining its activities, but note that its counterpart in Quebec – QMJHL – has suspended its activity until mid-January.
Mysak and the Bulldogs will want to make some headway in the playoffs. They are fifth in OHL (out of 20 teams) with a number of 0.643 (16-8-4).
As with the Czechs, Mysak is part of the Bulldogs’ leadership group, as co-leader, Colton Kammerer. The young man spoke in adequate English, but was still hesitant at times. Now that he has had experience as a leader with his countrymen, he sees the difference between leadership in his native language and that in his second language.
The culture and mentalities in Canada differ, as does the language, of course. It is easier for me to talk to my fellow Czechs, because I know where they come from, where they have been, and I know their culture. But that’s fine, I’m trying to stay in Hamilton myself. It’s the best way to be a leader. ”
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