In his youth, he admired Dominika Hašek. He remembers himself in this year’s extra-league playoffs. Slovenian goalkeeper Gašper Krošelje has become a wizard. With his spells he trampled the winner of the base part of Hradec Králové and reached Mladá Boleslav in the semi-finals. The stage for the replay of last year’s fight to qualify for the title battle against Třinec is set. The Ljubljana veteran who is taking shape is ready. “It will be about small things,” he assumes.
Gašper Krošelj is working in Mladá Boleslav for the fourth season, he already feels at home here. “It’s great here,” he said. Unlike last year, he overtook Jan Růžička in the playoffs. He still holds famous numbers, he destroyed Pilsen and Hradec.
Is it a form of life?
“I can say he is. Maybe I felt that in some tournaments past, like qualifying for the Olympics or even the Games. But I haven’t felt that good yet in the Czech playoffs. I feel very good. Game after game, form and self-confidence have increased. We are going to the semi-finals with this now, I want to keep it.”
You will play the semi-finals for the second time in a row, but last year you went there from a much better position. How do you see the progression through the top four from 11th place after the base game?
“I’m just happy. We put everything in, we played really well. Maybe it helped that we weren’t favorites and we played stress-free. We did it and we’re happy. “
You caught ten games in 17 days, there were overtimes. Wasn’t that a big mess?
“It just came to our knowledge at that time. But everyone likes to play games and I’m used to it. I would just play games and train as little as possible. I like the rhythm, it’s ‘it’s great.”
But a week off was nice, right?
“Of course, some time off and rest has been helpful. But we can keep playing.”
In goal, you seem extremely calm. Have earnings and self-confidence increased?
“Yes, everyone, from me to the seventh defender. Forwards score goals in every game. When you have confidence, that’s important.”
You also made a few appearances in the playoffs, which would please your favorite Dominik Hašek…
(smiles) “Yeah, I guess so. If you can’t do anything else, you’ll do something to catch the puck. You gotta try it! When you do it in practice and then it happens in games, then there are such interventions. You never have to watch the puck go towards the door. At least you have to do something.”
Thinking back to the series with Hradec, how important was your intervention in the raids of the third quarter-final, when you stopped Aleš Jergl’s attempt with a famous “scorpion”? Mountfield could decide and lead the series 2:1 in games.
“It’s popular now, scorpion… (smiles) The video flew everywhere, on Instagram and so on. I didn’t think of anything, he already had an empty door, I tried to lift my foot and hit her. As I said before: you have to try at least something.”
Do you also congratulate your teammates?
“Everyone knew what to do. They believed me. This is the key to winning. I also believed in the defenders and attackers that we were going to score a goal. We never even thought we wouldn’t score. Even though we lost 0:2. It says something about us that we thought we could turn it around. It was all in the head.”
Now Třinec is waiting for you, will he be a tougher opponent than Hradec?
“We know that they are a good team. They have very good attackers. We still have to play well in defense, around our goal. We have to make few mistakes, play as little as possible in the debuffs, because Třinec is very good on the power play. It’s going to be about the little things. We’ll see, it’s going to be a tough fight.”
Did you still have last year’s series in mind?
“Well, I remember well, it was a bit of a shame. But it’s true, we lost. There were two eliminations, we played three and we scored a goal. Game seven… But we We’ll see this year. Trinec is a good team, we feel good.”
Do you have a great desire to give it back to Třinec now also in terms of last game wrongdoing?
“Yeah, it’s always hard to lose in the seventh game like this. You still feel it. We’ll see what happens, how it will be. You have to play like before. Try it.”
Who to watch the most?
“I know they have good shooters and experienced players: Růžička, Nestrašil, captain Vrána, etc. We know each other well. For four years that I have been here, they have almost the same team. It will be an interesting sight .”
Before, you were a Třinec specialist, coaches often put you on it. Can it be useful?
“Probably yes. (smiles) I like when we play against good teams. There are a lot of shots on the goalkeeper, it’s interesting. So I can’t wait.”
You have never attended a final in your career. What is the motivation for you?
“I’ve had this motivation for four years. I would like to play with Boleslav in the final. We know we’re a good team, we trust each other and we’ll see.”
Can you tell us how distracted you are between playoff games?
“Not very special. Now I only watched series at home. Or before the game, I do crosswords, it will reassure you that you are smart then.” (Laughs)
Gašper Krošelj in the playoffs
|Matches: 10 (1.)|
|Win: 7 (1.)|
|Losses: 3 (6th)|
|Success: 93.45% (3rd)|
|Diameter: 2.16 (4th)|
|Net accounts: 0|
Will he stay in Boleslav?
Gašper Krošelj arrived in Mladá Boleslav in 2018. Initially on hold, as Jan Růžička was injured for a long time. In the end, the Slovenian became the goalkeeper with the most extra-league starts in the club’s history. Then he always extended the contract for one year only. Will he add more? It’s a question. It is clear that changes will take place in the skaters’ end zone. Růžička’s offspring are leaving, Marek Schwarz will probably end his career for the first time. On the other hand, Filip Novotný from Mountfield HK will come and Andrej Košarišťan, a former Kladno goalkeeper, is expected to return from Košice. After the season, it will be interesting to see how the BK management settle the situation in goal and if there will be room for this year’s playoff hero…