|SASKATOON, SK - DECEMBER 31: Canada's Jordan Eberle (#14) salutes the crowd after his team's shoot-out win over the U.S. at the 2010 IIHF World U20 Championship. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/HHOF-IIHF Images) |
played the hero yet again for Team Canada last night in front of a sold-out electric crowd. Picking up a pair of goals, scoring first in the shootout and picking up the player of the game for Canada should definitely get a team pumped up.
“He just loves to play,” said Team Canada Coach Willie Desjardins. “He’s not afraid of the big situations. He wants the puck. He’s got good moves, even in the shootouts. He’s a quality person and a really good player. “
For some it might seem like deja-vu from last year except this time Canada waited until the third period to make their dramatic comeback which resulted in victory. We can all remember last year's nail-biting action coming back from being down three goals in the first period and no one could forget the guy who saved the day, Jordan Eberle
"It's unbelievable. It's the right place at the right time for him," said teammate Ryan Ellis. "He knows where to find the open spots to get to goals and puts it in the back of the net every time. He was one of the only guys who really had it going last night. I think as a team we have to be better but when guys like that step up it shows the character that they have."
Two years in a row Team Canada has been down and found a way to keep the winning streak alive. Can they pull off six straight this year?
"We showed last night how we can come back. It's almost in our blood with Canada,” Eberle boasts. “We just find a way to win. It's as simple as that. We’re just focusing on getting that sixth win.”
If you were to compare the two games, which game was the most exciting?
"It's tough to compare the two," Eberle says. "I think they are obviously both pretty special. It's a stepping stone for our team. We need to move on from here and worry about our semi-final games. I think that adversity will help our team a lot."
So far it is looking as though Canada will face Russia again this year. If that happens, Team Canada will need to look at their costly turnovers and risky decisions.
"Last year we played pretty bad. It went back to last night, we turned the puck over a lot and gave them too many odd man rushes. For us we need to play more of a complete game and try not to bring it down to the last few seconds." Eberle smirked.
Eberle attended Oilers training camp this past fall but was sent back to the Regina Pats for another year of training and growth. Although it must have been frustrating for Eberle at the time, he says it was what had to happen at the time and that his ultimate objective is to land a spot on the Edmonton Oilers roster next year.
"Obviously it's disappointing,” said Eberle. “That was my goal to make that team and for someone to tell you that you're not good enough to play or we don't room for you, it's not a fun thing.
I had a couple days to think about it and I didn't want to dwell on it. I wanted to come back into junior and prove them wrong. For the most part I think I have. I think one thing that helped keep my head up was the World Juniors. It's such a fun tournament to play in especially in my home town. My goal right now is to focus on the Gold Medal. When I get back to Regina, it’ll be with them”