Canada won big on the scoresheet Wednesday night, and Eyes On The Prize caught up with a few of the key players following the game.
Victor Mete, D, Canada
EOTP: What did you think of this game?
Mete: I thought it was really good. I thought we played better than we did yesterday as a team. We’re 2-0 now and have a really big game coming up in two days. We gotta prepare for that.”
Dom [Ducharme] talked about nerves in your game yesterday. Did you feel any nerves today?
I felt fine both games so far, no real nerves at all, just excited, I felt good again today, yeah.”
Looking ahead to the game against the States, how big is that rivalry in your mind?
Yeah no, it’s probably the biggest in hockey: Canada versus the USA in hockey. We know they’re a good team and we have to come prepared and take it to them. I think it’s kind of every level, the rivalry between the two is just like, crazy. Canada wants to beat USA, USA wants to beat Canada at every age group. It’s pretty crazy.
You started the year in Montreal. Do you think your time there helped prepare you better for this tournament?
For sure, there’s a lot more room on the ice, and more places to jump in with the puck and everything. Learning from playing there for half the season has been good for my development, I feel like.
So playing with Shea Weber and the NHL guys was a big help before coming here?
Yeah for sure, when you’re learning from the best you take that, and do your best with it here.
David Hrenak, G, Slovakia
EOTP: What kind of challenge did [Canada] present to you personally?
Hrenak: I went to this game to do my best, and I didn’t think I played bad, but a couple of goals I gave up were not too good. Now we just kind of [...] have to forget this game, and focus on the game we have to play tomorrow. I think that’s the most important thing we have to do.
You’re at St. Cloud State in the NCAA, what do you take from a tournament like this to take back with you?
Well, I would say it’s just a great learning experience. I play against the best players in my age, and a lot of guys want to play in my position and they can’t. So I kind of want to enjoy every game and learn from it as much as possible.
When you guys go up against the United States, is there any kind of bet with your coach [Bob Motzko]?
Well [laughs] for sure yeah. I would like to beat him but it will be really hard and we’ll do our best and see.
Colton Point, G, Canada
EOTP: You were a long shot to make this team, so when did it hit you that this is real and happening?
Point: During warmups I took a look around the stands and saw my family, and it was kind of surreal. It’s nice knowing that I’m a part of this.
I’ve been a long shot my whole career, and this has been pretty cool. I’m just trying to take it all in and enjoy it, this is something you tell your kids about, that I played for Canada in this tournament.
How did you assess your performance tonight?
There weren’t a ton of high-danger chances, but a shot is a shot, and you have to treat them all equally. I felt I made the saves I had to, and that’s reflected on the scoreboard. I’m going to enjoy this for the next few hours, then move on and focus on the next game.
How much pressure was there, with this being your first game on the big stage?
For me I try not to focus on the pressure being applied to me. It’s an outside factor. I come into every game figuring out what I need to do to succeed, and today was no different.
You’ve had a strong season at Colgate this year. Is there anything you brought with you to prepare for this tournament?
At Colgate I’ve been trying to take it one day at a time. That’s something I say a lot; what’s happened in the past you can’t change it now. There’s no use worrying about it now. I take every day, game, and period as a clean slate and try to do my best.