Hertl: Scoring in homecoming 'was a little crazy'
Tomas Hertl left the Czech crowd ecstatic, scoring the San Jose Sharks' first goal of 2022-23 in the opening game of the NHL regular season against the Nashville Predators in Prague on Friday.
"It was a little crazy, but it was just a special moment, to score in front of my whole family and a lot of friends that probably used to see me when I was playing in Prague," the Czech forward said, according to NHL.com's Amalie Benjamin. He last played for his hometown team, Slavia Praha, in 2012-13.
Despite the elation of Hertl's first-period goal, the Sharks lost to the Nashville Predators 4-1. "It would be a little better if we got the win, but I was really happy for that game," he said.
After Hertl's goal, the building serenaded him with a chant. "I remember the time when I was playing for Slavia Praha, when you score, they would all yell your name," said Hertl. "It was really special, and I really enjoyed it. I was so pumped."
The 28-year-old represented Czechia at the 2022 World Championship, where he scored five points in 10 games. It was his first international action since 2015.
San Jose and Nashville play in Prague again on Saturday before they return to North America for the remainder of the 2022-23 NHL schedule.
- Dellandrea's late pair helps Stars stun Golden Knights, force Game 6
- 'Golden Misfits' as valuable as ever, 2023 draft FAQ, and 4 other NHL items
- Germany shocks U.S. to set up gold-medal clash with Canada at Worlds
- Canada heads to gold-medal game with comeback win vs. Latvia at Worlds
- Keith Tkachuk's words came at just the right time for Panthers