With gold medal in hand and all smiles after a thrilling 3-1 victory, we spoke with Victor Mete about the World Juniors championship game, and a potential Olympic future.
EOTP: What was the key point in your victory today?
Mete: Yeah, no I think we stuck to our game plan and played hard in all three periods, and just kind of did what we could out there. We didn’t back down for a second and scored and won it.
The Swedes noted you had a big advantage with not getting any penalties. Any thoughts on that?
Yeah for sure, even if we don’t score on the power play, we can create a lot of excitement and momentum on the bench, and kind of tire them out, so that definitely helped us out there.
What can you say about Sweden as a whole after this game?
Yeah they were really good. I don’t think we played any team like that in the tournament; one that was that good. They battled hard, and they didn’t give up for a second, so we’re lucky to have come out on top.
What’s next for you? Are there any thoughts about possibly being traded in the OHL?
Uhhhh, I haven’t really been told anything about where I’m going yet, so I don’t know what’s going on yet to be honest with you. They’ve told me there’s been no decisions made so far. That’s all I know.
What would it mean if you got an opportunity to play at the Olympics in South Korea?
It’d be pretty special. It’d be a crazy year for sure jumping from team to team to team. It’ll be cool though.
What does it mean to know the Olympic scouts were here to watch you and some of the other guys?
No, it’s special for sure. Like I said, I don’t know what’s going on yet, but going there it would be a huge honour.
What will you remember about this team and this tournament?
We got really close really fast. Obviously we’re together for a month, so we all got to know each other really well on personal levels. You’re always gonna remember a winning team, especially in World Juniors where everyone’s dream is the same growing up: to win this gold medal.
Who was the star player on this team?
I think everyone worked hard, everyone played their job and did their role. If people weren’t doing their job I don’t think we’d have had the same outcome. Everyone did though and it resulted in our favour.
What’s it say about the coaches faith in you that you played in a ton of crucial situations, not just tonight but all tournament?
It was good obviously, like, I enjoy being in those moments, so you have to have pride in it, and I was really happy that they trust me through those situations.
It looked like a home game out there. How special was that?
Yeah it was crazy. When we got that second goal I couldn’t hear anything, and the third goal to close it was ear-piercing. We’re lucky to have the support that we did.
Are you ever going to get that goal song out of your head?
(Laughs) I don’t think I’ll be getting the goal song out of my head. Anytime I hear it, I’ll think of this.