Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


O Canada! Turris wins gold

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Losing players to the World Junior Championships is nothing new for the Wisconsin men’s hockey team. Last year, forwards Jack Skille and Blake Geoffrion and defenseman Jamie McBain represented the United States in the championships. This year, Geoffrion and McBain again donned the red, white and blue, while freshman Kyle Turris skated for Team Canada.

For Turris, playing at the international level has become old hat. As the No. 3 overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Turris has represented Canada many times before. But skating at the World Juniors this year, he said, was something completely different.


?It was unbelievable,? Turris said. ?It was so much fun. Every time you get to wear the jersey, it’s an honor. It was really exciting, and it’s a memory I’ll never forget.?

Making his time at the World Juniors more memorable was the fact that his Canadian team won the gold medal, beating Sweden in the tournament’s championship game.

?It’s the best feeling I’ve ever had, standing on the line with the gold medal around my neck, singing the national anthem was incredible, knowing how much support we had back home,? Turris said.

It was the fourth consecutive gold medal for Canada and their 14th overall. In the championship game against Sweden, Turris assisted on a game-tying goal in the first period, helping his country earn a 3-2 victory.

For the tournament, Turris finished with four goals and two assists, certainly a strong showing on an international stage for the freshman from British Columbia.

?I was pretty happy with my performance and being able to contribute to the team,? Turris said. ?I think everyone contributed well and played their role pretty good.?

Turris faced off against two of his current Badger teammates in the semifinals, a game Canada won 4-1 over the U.S. Turris notched an assist in the contest on the eventual game-winning goal, while Geoffrion and McBain failed to register a point.

For Geoffrion, playing against Turris was a unique experience, but he admits it would have been better had his team come out on the winning end.

?We’re both competing for the same thing, and I’m out there trying to compete against him just like he’s trying to beat me,? Geoffrion said. ?It was a little fun to play against one of my teammates, but at the same time I was a little disappointed with the result.?

McBain said he is used to playing against teammates past and present, and he has faced off against high school teammates during his college career.

?You grow up, and they go to different schools, you go to a different school, so it’s just one of those things that you love to play against them to have that competition factor,? McBain said. ?It’s always a battle playing against [Turris].?

When Canada and the U.S. faced each other, Turris and Geoffrion managed to find themselves in the face-off circle together a few times.

?Geoffrion’s a great competitor,? Turris said. ?[We took] a couple draws against each other, so it was good. We competed really hard.?

While Canada prevailed and eventually went on to win the gold, Geoffrion and McBain didn’t catch too much grief from Turris, who decided to leave his medal at home in Canada.

?He has his chirps here and there,? McBain said. ?They did win, and he’s got the right to do that, but he’s been good.?

McBain was instrumental in USA’s win over Russia in the quarterfinals, as he tallied an assist on the game-winning goal. Geoffrion also recorded an assist in the tournament.

Back in the WCHA, though, the Badgers clearly missed the services of their top scorer Turris, who has a team-best 22 points despite missing four games, and Geoffrion, who is close behind Turris with 16 points. UW was swept by Colorado College, who leads the WCHA, while the three were gone. The first loss of the series saw Wisconsin fail to put up a goal as they were shut out 2-0. One goal wasn’t enough in the second game, as they fell 3-1, giving the Tigers the season sweep of the Badgers.

All three of the players experienced a lengthy trip home, as Geoffrion said their flight time totaled 16 hours, which took a toll on them during the Denver series.

?I actually felt really good the second night in Denver,?
Geoffrion said. ?The first night in the third period I was pretty gassed.?

?Physically, it’s pretty draining. Coming back, you have about two days to kind of just relax all day,? McBain said. ?It’s one of those things you’ve just got to do. It’s part of the process.?

All traveling issues aside, Turris seemed to be jumpstarted by the experience upon his return to WCHA play, as he tallied two goals and an assist in a weekend split with Denver.

?The skill level was so high, it kind of raised my game a little bit,? Turris said. ?It was so much fun being over there, and I think I brought some of it back.?

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