EDMONTON, AB -- American born Bill Arnold is only one of three Calgary Flames prospects participating in this years’ World Junior Hockey Championships in Edmonton and Calgary.
The Flames selected the center in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, 108th overall. The Massachusetts native currently plays with fellow Flames' prospect John Gaudreau at Boston College, but don’t mistake him for a Bruins fan.
“I grew up watching the Bruins" remarked Arnold, "But the day I got drafted, I turned in to a Calgary Flames fan.”
The 19-year-old has now experienced what it's like to play for a team in front of an antagonistic crowd that is obviously anti-American. The rivalry between the U.S. and Canada has heated up in the past few years and recent international events have fuelled it even more. The Edmonton fans are something Arnold may have to get used to should he crack the Calgary Flames line-up one day.
"I've heard a lot about the Battle of Alberta," chimed Arnold, "the crowd atmosphere here is amazing, I don't get this at school so it's definitely different and a taste of what you would get at the pro level."
The 6'-0", 218 lb Arnold is having a very respectable season with Boston College. He's registered 11 goals and 9 assists in 18 games, good enough for second in team scoring. His team is having a strong year at 12-6-0 they are ranked third in NCAA Division 1.
Arnold is thought of as a hardworking center who typically plays a strong defensive role. In this tournament, however, his role was more offensive particularly in the game against the Czechs as he was inserted into the first powerplay unit.
He was named the player of the game for his efforts on Friday with a goal and an assist but it wasn’t enough as the Americans fell to the hard working Czech’s which all but eliminated any chance the Americans had of winning a medal.
Although the Americans fired 54 shots at Czech goaltender Petr Mrazek, Arnold felt they still should have found the net more and put much of the blame on himself.
"Their goalie played really well," Arnold quipped "But we needed to get more bodies to the net and should have buried our chances. I'm guilty of that, I should have had a few more goals."
The loss also meant the much anticipated marquee game against the rival Canadians on New Year's Eve had little to no meaning with the result. But that doesn't stop Arnold from his focus on the match.
"Absolutely," he said, "We're going to try to learn from the mistakes we made in that game and we're going to come out and play as hard as we can tomorrow"
Author: Jason Johnson