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Hanifin expects playoff atmosphere against Canada

by Noah Hanifin

Noah Hanifin, who was given an A rating on NHL Central Scouting's November players to watch list, is a freshman at Boston College in Hockey East. The 6-foot-3, 203-pound defenseman has two goals and seven points in 17 games for the Eagles this season, and he is a member of the United States team that's competing at the World Junior Championship. Hanifin had eight goals and 33 points in 45 games for the United States Under-18 National Team Development Program in 2013-14. Hanifin, considered by many to be the best defenseman available for the 2015 NHL Draft, had one goal and five points for the United States at the IIHF 2014 World U-18 Championship. The native of Norwood, Mass., has offered to maintain a blog for leading up to the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Fla. His latest entry comes as the United States prepares to play Canada at the WJC in Montreal on New Year's Eve.

It is absolutely freezing out. My family's in town now so we were actually walking around last night a little bit and we had to go back to the hotel a bit quicker than we expected. It was freezing out, but it's good hockey weather.

Slovakia played a really tough game against us. It was a great game. They're a good team. They beat Finland the day before so we knew it was going to be a hard game, but we were excited that we got to come out with the win (3-0).

Right when the game ended we all started to think about the game against Canada. That's just something we wanted to do every game, after every win focus on the next one and prepare as much as we can, so now it's Canada's turn, and we're just going to prepare as much as we can for them.

It should be a lot of fun to watch Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid play against each other. They're both great players. Talking with Jack, we're just trying to focus on beating Canada. It's not really an individual game at all. It's a team sport, so I think we're going to do as much as we can just to beat Canada, not focus on Jack versus Connor and stuff.

It's kind of a tradition New Year's Eve, U.S.-Canada, it's going to be an unbelievable environment. I'm expecting like an NHL kind of playoff atmosphere.

We know we're going to get booed, and I think it motivates us a lot. It's going to be a tough crowd to play against, but that excites us a lot, so we're getting ready for it.

Hopefully we get a win. That's the goal. We want to get a win and come in the first place of our bracket and get ready for the next one after that, so we're going to do as much as we can to get ready and try to win the game.

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