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Islanders share their World Junior memories: Part II

Anders Nilsson, Nino Niederreiter, Rick DiPietro, Brian Rolston and Marty Reasoner all participated in the World Junior Championships in their young careers

Wednesday, 12.28.2011 / 4:04 PM / News
By Cory Wright
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Islanders share their World Junior memories: Part II
With the World Junior Championships underway, present-day Islanders reflect on their past experiences at hockey’s biggest junior tournament. Read up on past tournament all-stars and medal winners in the second installment of this series. (Part One)

Anders Nilsson on winning a bronze medal with Sweden in 2010
It was a great experience. There were a lot of people watching the games and a lot of stuff going on around the team that year, things that we weren’t really used to. We were a little bit younger, but it was fun to play in. 

I’m from Northern Sweden, so I’m used to the dark and cold, but that part of Canada was real cold. Flat, dark and freezing, but it was a great tournament.

Jake Allen stops the puck in front of Nino Niederreiter during the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship Tournament Semifinal game on January 3, 2010 at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
I was the backup - we had (Jacob) Markstrom, he was the starting goalie for us. I didn’t play much, but it was fun to be a part of the team and to be around the whole tournament. We finished in third place, but obviously wanted to get to the final and were a little disappointed, but still third place is pretty decent.

Nino Niederreiter on representing Switzerland in 2010 and 2011 and making the tournament’s All-Star team in 2010
The World Juniors helped me a lot in my draft year. If I didn’t have a good tournament like I had there, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

It’s just amazing, even to see. I had my first one in Canada and second one in Buffalo. The crowd’s were just incredible. You know how big those tournaments are for Canada or even the USA and it’s great to see and it’s always a great atmosphere in the arena.

The game against Russia is a game I’ll never forget. We won 3-2 and that was definitely the greatest game I’ve probably ever been a part of.

Brian Rolston on representing the US in 1991, 92, 93 and winning a bronze in ‘92
Obviously any time you play for your country it’s a great thing. It’s an honor and to be selected amongst the best in the world at that age is always exciting. I was lucky enough to have played three times in the world juniors and to win a bronze medal. I was very lucky to have that experience as kind of a stepping stone to the next step.

Obviously playing Canada, that’s a big rivalry. I scored against them and we beat them 5-3. They had a powerhouse team that year and that’s the year we won the bronze (1992), so it’s real exciting and it’s a lot of fun to watch these kids.

Rick DiPietro on representing the US in 1999, 2000 and 2001
It’s amazing, one of the best times in my life. At that time, I had the opportunity to play with a lot of friends I made at the US program and to share that experience with them. We were a really competitive team with some unfortunate circumstances, but obviously it’s a time that I’ll never forget.

USA Goaltender Rick Dipietro takes a breather during the IIHF World Ice Hockey Championship Third place play-off match between Sweden and the USA played at the Preussag Arena in Hannover, Germany. (Photo by: Stuart Franklin /Allsport)
The first year I went, that first tournament, it was special. Personally, it was a pretty successful tournament. That’s one I’ll definitely remember. (DiPietro was named the Most Outstanding Goaltender at the ’99 tournament.)

Marty Reasoner on representing the US in 1996 and winning a silver in 1997
My first year we were in Boston, it was a little bit disappointing because we didn’t do as well as we had hoped. But my second year was fun. We were in Switzerland and we had a good team, but lost in the final to Canada. At the time, it was hard to take, but looking back it was a good memory and fun experience.

The games against Canada are always big. And playing in the gold medal game, which was the first time since 1992 that a US team had gotten a medal and played for the gold. It was a really fun experience and you look back now. I didn’t realize at the time, but what an impact it had. It was fun, a little disappointing, but a good experience as a player being able to play at that level at that stage. It was definitely something I look back upon as a fond memory.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYI 63 41 20 2 202 174 84
3 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 61 30 22 9 161 160 69
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 62 25 27 10 139 164 60
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 60 23 30 7 137 159 53
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 63 29 35 4 64
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 63 14 26 21 40
B. Nelson 63 17 19 6 36
F. Nielsen 63 11 25 12 36
A. Lee 57 20 12 12 32
J. Bailey 51 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 53 7 22 15 29
N. Leddy 63 8 17 14 25
T. Hamonic 53 4 20 16 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 33 13 0 .911 2.46
C. Johnson 8 7 1 .890 2.95

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