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Hanifin reflects on tough loss to Russia at WJC

by Noah Hanifin

That was tough.

Listening to their anthem at the end of the game isn’t the best way to go out. But it’s a learning process. You can learn a lot from that game. It just shows being undisciplined can hurt you in a tournament like this. Russia’s a good team so we had to be disciplined, and it didn’t really happen.

It was a competitive game; these are two teams that don’t really like each other. There were a lot of emotions, and at the end of the game that kind of came out. It was a tough one. Playing a team like Russia, they’re our rival, so it’s tough to lose to them.

It’s pretty painful in our room right now. It’s pretty tough to go out like that, especially losing to a team the same way they lost last year. That’s tough for the older guys. I hopefully can get a chance to get back at them next year, but for the older guys it’s definitely tough.

Dylan Larkin is one of the most competitive kids I’ve ever played hockey with. He had an unbelievable tournament. He hates to lose. He was doing everything he could in that game to help us win. He had an unbelievable tournament and I had a great time playing with him.

But we have a lot of guys who should be back next year. Auston Matthews is a very young kid and he’ll be here for a few more years. Hopefully we can take this loss and use it for next year if all goes to plan and we’re all on the team next year again. This was a tough way to go out, but I think it will spark more emotions for us going into the tournament next year.

This was still a great experience for me, I learned a lot here. It was great to be able to measure myself against the world. There’s a lot of stuff I can work on going back for the second half of the season at Boston College. It was a great learning process being around great teammates and great players every day and being coached by great coaches.

Obviously my focus wasn’t on showcasing what I can do, I wanted to win a gold medal and we didn’t get it. But this was good exposure for some of us. A tournament at this stage is always helpful for that.

It was just a great experience.

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