Have no fear, – Klára Peslarová is here! The standout Czech goaltender will continue playing with MODO for at least three more seasons. Word was released back on Feb. 27, 2019 that Peslarová was extended by MODO, and signed a new contract carrying her through 2021-22.
THW was able to get caught up with Peslarová once the 2018-19 SDHL season had come to a close. With the off-season ahead of her, she took some time to decompress before sitting down with us to chat about her next three years of SDHL play.
“I’m glad that I had good season,” Peslarová shared, “and that they are happy about me. So there wasn’t a problem to sign a contract for three more years. I can focus only on hockey now. MODO is great organization, and I’m happy that I can be part of this organization.”
It’s Good to Be Back in Sweden
After a brief hiatus from SDHL play in which she returned to her native Czech Republic, Peslarová signed with MODO for the 2018-19 season. She was lights-out for the “red and green” since coming back to Sweden. In 24 SDHL regular season games, she posted numbers of a .925 save-percentage and a 2.48 goals-against average. The .925 SV% was solid enough for fourth best in the league, and second-highest for goalies playing at least 20 games.
“I tried,” Peslarová laughed when talking about her performance this season. “But there is always something to do better. I think it was a good first step, and now it will be about putting all of the thing together and working even harder.”
— MODO Hockey (@MODO_Hockey) February 27, 2019
Peslarová’s individual performance helped bolster MODO to the second best record in the SDHL behind the defending champions Luleå HF/MSSK. MODO finished the 2018-19 regular season at 79 points off of an impressive 23-7-4-2 record. Peslarová had a great deal to do with that. Of course, it helped too that MODO’s Michela Cava was the SDHL’s leading scorer with 27 goals, 37 assists and 64 points in 36 games.
Peslarová’s ’18-’19 SDHL Playoff Performance
Peslarová and MODO gave a good fight come playoff-time, but would end up falling short. Luleå HF/MSSK won the SDHL championship for a second straight season and were fueled by their dynamic stars like Jenni Hiirikoski, Michelle Karvinen, Petra Nieminen and many others.
MODO would win their opening round matchup against Brynäs IF, sweeping them in three games. Peslarová suited up for the second and third games of the series, and would keep the MODO crease for the remainder of their playoff appearances.
Unfortunately, the shoe would be on the other foot in the semifinal. Facing Linköping HC, this time MODO would be swept in three straight games and would miss out on a chance to play in the championship final.
Despite the earlier-than-hoped-for exit, Peslarová put up a decent playoff performance all the same. In her five games in net she came away with a .901 SV% and a 2.85 GAA. Allowing 14 goals in her five games, Peslarová managed to make 127 saves regardless. In MODO’s third and final playoff game against Linköping, she turned aside 37 shots in the 4-0 loss.
Praises From MODO Management
Peslarová is still only 22 years old and will not turn 23 until November 2019. She has the best years of her hockey career still ahead of her. This is very intelligent management on MODO’s behalf to secure such a talented goaltender who has not even entered her prime yet.
In the release on Peslarová’s extension, MODO’s sports manager Björn Edlund has the following to say about his goalie:
“She is a fantastic goalkeeper, a good person and we have now found a stability on the goalkeeping side for a long time to come.” Edlund would go onto include that, “Klára is constantly developing as a player and we have a good environment where she is challenged every week and takes steps in her development. She is already a goalkeeper who every match gives us the chance to win and we are all very happy about this contract being signed.”
And Peslarová is indeed glad. She is also proud and honored to be praised so highly by her hockey team.
“Oh, that is always so nice to hear something like about me,” she said, blushing somewhat. “But I think that I’m good team player. I always know when is time for the ‘games’ and when I need focus. I also have good people around me.”
The Road Ahead and the Years to Come
At the time of this article Peslarová is in Espoo, Finland with her Czech Women’s National Team teammates. The 2019 IIHF Women’s World Championship is just days away from getting started. Playing in Group B alongside Sweden, Japan, Germany, and France, Peslarová is hoping that she and the Czechs can vie for a medal.
Ready for the season to start 🥅🏒 pic.twitter.com/LuuiMvXpZc
— Klara Peslarova (@klarapeslarova) September 4, 2018
SDHL fans will not see her suit up in a MODO jersey until Fall 2019. Not wanting to rush anything, Peslarová wants to take one step at a time. Right now she is on the step of competing at Espoo.
In terms of her next three years with MODO though, she looks at it as more of an opportunity for growth than anything else.
“We will see what those three years bring to me and my team,” Peslarová smiled and shared. “I’m open for everything. I just want focus on hockey and have great development.”