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Johansen Has Success at World Junior Championships

by Warren Kozireski / Columbus Blue Jackets

UPDATED 1/6/11

Ryan Johansen and Team Canada's suffered a 5-3 loss to Team Russia in the Gold Medal Game of the 2011 World Junior Championships on Wednesday at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York. Team USA defeatd Team Sweden 4-2 to capture the Bronze.

Johansen was named to the All-Tournament team and finished the tournament as Canada's third leading scorer with 3-6-9 in seven games played. He lead the team with 32 shots on goal, was +4 and tied for the team lead with three power play goals. The Vancouver, B.C. native won 61.9% of his faceoffs and committed only one minor penalty during the tournament.

Johansen was unavailable for comment after the loss to Russia.

Buffalo, NY -
Columbus' first round selection - fourth overall - last July in the National Hockey League entry draft stands 34th in the Western Hockey League in scoring with his first place Portland Winterhawks, but Ryan Johansen has gold on his mind over the next two weeks.

Johansen made the Team Canada roster for the 2011 IIHF World Under-20 Championships being played at Buffalo this week. For the opening game against Team Russia, he centered the top line with Buffalo Sabres selections Zach Kassian and Marcus Foligno on his wings.

Johansen netted what proved to be the game-winning power play goal in a 6-3 victory. He also occupied the front of the net engaging a defenseman to allow Canada to score their fifth goal.

"It was just a big cluster and the puck was just bouncing everywhere, I just had to whack at it," said Johansen about his goal. "It barely hit the top of my stick and went over his (the goaltenders) back.

"It was a big relief, especially since I had a few chances earlier in the game.

The 6'2" 193-pound Winnipeg native tied for the team lead with seven shots on goal; three in each of the first and third periods.

"Early in the game, it was mostly nerves but I just kept trying to move my feet and keep it simple. I was trying to just play a straight forward game and to stay away from the extra moves until I got some confidence back."

Johansen is one of 15 NHL first round draft picks on Team Canada along with linemate Kassian.

"We have a really big line (Kassian is 6'3" 226 lb and Foligno is listed at 6'1" 200 lb), so our job is to wind the puck down low, crash and bang, and I thought we did a really good job of that tonight.

"That will be a key for our line the rest of this tournament is to get the puck down low and then take it to the net."

"The last preseason game I was put with them (Kassian and Foligno) in the third period and on our first shift we scored, so right away I could see the chemistry."

Johansen has netted 17 goals with 19 assists over his first 31 games for Portland and is on pace to exceed his 25 goals and 69 points in 71 games one season ago.

Johansen and Team Canada will battle Team Czech Republic Tuesday afternoon in game two of their four game preliminary schedule prior to the medal round.

UPDATE from 12/28
Ryan Johansen added an assist to his point total for the World Junior Championships to help Team Canada to a 7-2 victory over Team Czech Republic.

"I'm always looking for the best possible way for the puck to be in the back of the net and I saw Schenn coming down the side. I tried to suck in the d-man so he would come toward me as much as possible and I was able to slide it over. It worked out well and he did a great job putting it in the back of the net."

UPDATE from 12/31
Johansen assisted on the second and third Canada goals in a 6-5 shootout loss to Team Sweden. The two points gives him 1-6-7 in four games at the tournament, which ranks him third on the team in scoring. He aslo has 14 shots on goal and is a +4.

"Both team had some lucky bounces and lucky goals and that just comes with hard work and grit down low. You need to take your hats off to them, they are a great team over there and hopefully we get to see them in the finals.

"We'll definitely be breaking down video and taking the positives with the negatives and seeing what we can do better.

"I've had a chance to play with two spectacular linemates--one who won a Memorial Cup and one who has played in the NHL. We seem to be building some chemistry so our line has been working pretty well.

About the first period-assist:
"I have to say was pretty surprised myself. I didn't know what to do, ceither to celebrate or laugh, so I kind of did a little bit of both. I heard Hamilton yelling to shoot and I kind of heard the crowd build up yelling "shoot-shoot", so I let it go at the net. It went over, hit the glass and took a funny bounce back in front and Hammy did a good job."

About the loss:
"All it means is we just have to play another game. Two days off your legs start to get a little heavy so I'm almost happy to play a game and then have another game the next day. One day at a time and we regroup. It will be interesting to see what the lines are since we get (Zach) Kassian back. I don't know if they'll put me (marcus) Foligno and Kassian back together or whether they'll stay with (Brayden) Schenn and (Quinton) Howden. Whatever happens I'm sure it will be a good situation."

UPDATED 1/2/11
Ryan Johansen was named Team Canada's Best Player of the Game. Johansen scored the first goal for Canada to even the score at 1-1 and now has two goals and six assists in five games at the tournament. He is a +4 and leads Canada in shots with 23. Canada plays Team USA Monday in the semifinals.

5 shots in the first period:
"I had a few chances after that fone squeezed through for me that I probably should have put in, but (Team Switzerland goaltender Benjamin) Conz played a real good game for them and I'm just going to say to mayself that he's a tremendous goalie and any other goalie they would have gone in."

On falling behind 1-0:
"They were lucky enough to get one in where most people would say 'how did that one get through there', but we just stuck to our game plan and I think we did a pretty good job of that."

On being named Best Player:
"It's pretty exciting, especially in a tight game. It's a good feeling to have that but as long as we're winning I'm happy. I'm sure we'll (my family) will figure out a good spot for that one (the award).

UPDATED 1/3/11
Ryan Johansen's quotes after Team Canada's 4-1 win over Team USA in the semi-finals at the WJC. Canada will play Team Russia Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. for the Gold Medal. USA and Team Sweden meet same day at 3:30 p.m. for the bronze.

Johansen scored the third Team Canada goal - listed as unassisted on the official scoresheet, but he put in the rebound of a Ryan Ellis point shot on a 5-on-3 power play in the second period. He was second on Team Canada with six shots on goal during the game, including four in the second period.

On jumping out to the early lead:
"It was huge for us. Our starts have not been the best during the tournament, but we did a really good of job of coming out today. I thought our guys really prepared and I think it showed."

On his 5-on-3 goal:
"We practice that a lot and we've had a lot of opportunities during the games. We have a lot of skill guys, especially (Ryan) Ellis working at the top and we did a good job with that today."

On having a 2-0 lead after the first period:
"Coming into the intermission we were telling the guys that it was still a 0-0 game and to make sure we kept playing our game and don't get lazy or too fancy."

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