Iveta Klimášová is Loving Life as a Buffalo Beaut
By Nathaniel A. Oliver
Iveta Klimášová has only been in North America for a short period of time, but she already loves being a Buffalo Beaut. The Slovakian national team star has made a point of exploring her new home, which has Buffalo and Toronto right on its doorstep.
"There are a lot of great foods and restaurants in North America from countries from all around the world," Klimášová said. "For the first time I have tried a cinnamon roll with frosting on it - this is my favorite food in North America!"
When she's off the ice, Klimášová enjoys a cup of java and watching her new favorite sport: baseball. Of course, now that the World Series is over, she'll have to find another American pastime to sink her teeth into.
"I love coffee," Klimášová said. "So I like to just hang out with friends over a cup of coffee. I love to laugh and listen to great hip-hop music. My new favorite North American sport is baseball, but I like all other sports too!"
Klimášová has averaged a point per game (1G, 4A) through her first five NWHL games for the Beauts. She has played on right wing on Buffalo's top scoring line with Brooke Stacey on her left and Cassidy MacPherson at center. The 21-year-old is from Gelnica, Slovakia, a small town of under 7,000 people. According to the IIHF, Slovakia has just 484 registered female players.
"I started playing hockey when I was 10 years old," the Beauts rookie winger said. "In primary school, they asked me if I want to go to a hockey class. I was 10, so I said yes! I was the only girl in this hockey class for five years. Nobody from my family played ice hockey, so for them it was a surprise."
After catching the hockey bug, Klimášová quickly found a player to look up to.
"I've been wearing #8 my whole career because of Alexander Ovechkin," Klimášová said. "He was my hero throughout my childhood. I like the way he knows how to score great goals. Also, all the great coaches in my career have been my 'hockey heroes' too."
Klimášová is one of the sturdiest players in the NWHL. At 5-foot-8 and over the 200-pound mark, she does not shy away from the physical game and has logged a lot of penalty minutes throughout her hockey career. However, she has more of a gentle nature off the ice and didn't hesitate to address her physical play and the penalties that come with it.
"I have many penalty minutes," Klimášová said, "It is difficult with my figure to have someone pass around me and just let them go. Hockey is a physical sport, and I think physical contact belongs there. I don't like when someone contacts my goalie, but I'm not a person who likes to fight. I'm a really calm person off the ice. People who know me, know that I wouldn't even hurt a fly. I think I'm an intimidating player because of my figure and my game face."
Make no mistake, Klimášová's game face suits her competitive nature on the ice well. Her desire to win is second to none, and she earnestly wants to bring the Isobel Cup back to Buffalo.
"I am passionate about the game and my team," she said. "I'm always hungry for victory and success that we can achieve as a team. I hate losing, and when I'm on the ice there is nothing else for me but to win."
You can watch Klimášová and the Buffalo Beauts in action on twitch.tv/nwhl and twitch.tv/nwhl2 in their upcoming road trip to Boston, MA to face the Pride on Saturday, Nov. 16 and in Danbury, Connecticut to play the Whale on Sunday, Nov. 17. The Beauts will be back home the following weekend at Northtown Center to host the reigning Isobel Cup Champion Minnesota Whitecaps for a two-game series. Tickets for those games and all Beauts home games are available at beauts.nwhl.zone/tickets.
Photo Credit: Mike Hetzel