Tuesday, 5 January 2016

WJHC Experience Could Key Second Half for Quenneville

John Quenneville (22) reacts to Canada's quarter-final loss against Finland
at the 2016 World Junior Hockey Championship. 
  John Quenneville is back in Brandon and was watching from the stands during the Wheat Kings' practice on Tuesday.

  Quenneville returned from the World Junior Hockey Championship disappointed about Canada's sixth-place finish, but feeling good about the experience the tournament provided.

  "I'll cherish the experience for a long time.  Getting the opportunity to work with those players and those coaches, on that stage, is just incredible," said Quenneville, "I think I learned a lot from the experience, I think I improved myself as a player and as a person from the experience.  All-in-all, it was a first class time."

  The New Jersey 2014 first round draft pick had one goal and one assist for two points in five games at the tournament, finishing with a +1 rating while also being a member of Canada's penalty-kill unit.

  "I think I played in a lot of key situations with the team, I thought I played well and I think it also gives me a confidence boost," said Quenneville, "It's the best 23 players in Canada and something that can get you really excited a fuel a bigger fire in you."

  Quenneville has 13 goals and 33 points in 25 games with Brandon this season and is expected to return to the Wheat Kings' lineup this weekend when they play a pair of home games, Friday versus Prince Albert and Saturday against Swift Current.

  The Edmonton product says he's looking forward to the rest of the season with Brandon.

  "We have an opportunity to do something special," said Quenneville, "I think I've taken on quite a bit of a leadership role and I think it's time for me to take what I've learned and take charge and, hopefully, lead this team in the right direction."

  The 2016 World Junior Hockey Championship concluded on Tuesday with the two medal games.

  Wheat Kings' defenceman Ivan Provorov is a silver medalist for the second straight year after he and the Russian squad fell 4-3 in overtime to host Finland in the gold medal game.

  Provorov had eight points, all assists, and a plus-two rating in seven games at the tournament.

  The United States routed Sweden 8-3 on the bronze medal game.

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