Dostal Shines Amongst Anaheim Ducks IIHF Worlds Participants

Lukas Dostal and Radko Gudas celebrate after winning IIHF semifinals
Photo: @anaheimducks Instagram

At the conclusion of the NHL regular season, it was announced that five Anaheim Ducks roster players would be heading to the 2024 International Ice Hockey World Championship in Czechia. While Ducks player performances proved to be mixed throughout the two-and-a-half-week-long tournament, the performance of 23-year-old Lukas Dostal rose among the rest.

Dostal had a strong start in the tournament’s group stage, receiving five starts in seven games while fighting for net time over the older and more experienced Petr Mrazek of the Chicago Blackhawks. In those opening games, he boasted a .905 save percentage, saving 96 of the 106 shots attempted against him and managing one shutout performance.

He opened the tournament with a clean shutout in a 1-0 shootout win against Finland, where he stopped 16 shots in regulation, five shots in overtime, and four shootout attempts, earning him player of the game. His second game, a 2-1 shootout loss against Switzerland, was still an impressive showing of Dostal’s composure against a team captained by Nashville’s powerhouse defender Roman Josi. Despite a first-period penalty that allowed the Swiss team to quickly convert on the power play, Dostal did everything in his power to keep his team in the race, stopping eight shots apiece in the second and third periods, securing a point for Czechia and forcing the game to its eventual shootout loss. His third start against Denmark yielded less stellar results statistically but did result in a 7-4 regulation win for the tournament’s host country and an incredible highlight-reel-worthy save.

In his fifth and sixth appearances, he bounced back significantly, saving 14 out of 15 shots in a 4-1 win against Great Britain and saving 22 out of 26 shots in a 4-3 loss against Canada. This cumulative performance was enough to earn him a spot in-net for the final three games, where he helped push his team to gold against two of his Ducks teammates. In the quarterfinals, he faced Team USA and saved all 36 shots that came his way, shutting out the American team in a close 1-0 win, and advancing Czechia to the semifinals. This game, a 7-3 win against Sweden, saw Dostal put up a .925 save percentage. 

In the May 26 gold medal final against Switzerland, Czechia was challenged to improve upon their earlier loss in the group stage. The game seemed to be controlled mostly by Czechia in the first and second periods, outshooting the Swiss 23-17, but both goalies held strong in net. After a quick release from David Pastrnak at the faceoff circle halfway through the third period put Czechia in the lead, Switzerland turned on the jets and peppered Dostal with 14 total shots in the third period alone. Dostal shut the door, though, earning his nickname DostWall and his team the gold medal, Czechia’s first since 2010.

Ending the tournament with a 6-2 record, a .939 save percentage, and a 1.58 GAA, Dostal’s performance earned him top accolades. He was announced top goaltender of the tournament by the Directorate and elected by the media as the goaltender pick for the All-Star Team. 

Veteran defenseman Radko Gudas will also return home a gold medalist. Returning to the world stage for the first time since 2019, his big hits, heavy shots from the blue line, and leadership both on and off the ice were also instrumental in leading the host team to victory. He ends the tournament with one point in 10 games and a +7 rating.

Isac Lundestrom also clinches a medal with Team Sweden beating out Canada in a bid for bronze. In ten games, he tallied ten points and ended the tournament with a +5 rating. This .5 point per game average is a vast improvement over his regular season performance, where he averaged just .23 points per game, and he was a significant part of Sweden’s penalty kill, which had a 100% success rate and was rated first in the tournament.

This bronze medal comes at the expense of teammate Olen Zellweger on the stacked but youthful Team Canada. Zellweger spent most of the tournament slotted into the lineup as a seventh defenseman, an auxiliary player allowed thanks to the 22-skater rosters in the IIHF tournament. Because of this, he averaged just around seven minutes a game. He made that time count, though, with five points and a +3 rating to end the tournament.

Team USA and Trevor Zegras will also head home empty-handed after being knocked out by Czechia in the quarterfinals. Two-time medalist and one-time MVP with Team USA in the Winter Junior Classic, Zegras has historically played some of his best hockey sporting the red, white, and blue, but his performance with the team this year proved to be lackluster. He managed just two points in 8 games and a -4 rating. While there are certainly excuses for his poor performance- including averaging just 13 minutes of ice time per game- it’s not a great look for a player looking to revive himself from a regular-season slump.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Mattie Gibbons

Mattie Gibbons is a marketer by day, hockey fanatic by night, covering her hometown team the Anaheim Ducks.

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