For Sieloff, World Juniors was well worth the wait


U.S. Nationwide Junior Workforce defenseman Patrick Sieloff has been on a little bit of a rollercoaster experience the final two weeks. As of every week in the past, the burly blueliner didn’t even know if he’d be in Ufa, Russia, for much longer.


As Workforce USA took the ice in opposition to Germany in its World Junior Championship opener, Sieloff was watching from the stands. An harm concern with one of many different U.S. defensemen left the Individuals in a bind with their ultimate roster selections for the D corps. Consequently, the U.S. workers determined to take a bit of further time earlier than finalizing the roster. Sieloff, together with Boston College freshman Matt Grzelcyk, had been ready to search out out which one in every of them can be the final defenseman named to Workforce USA.


“That was most likely one of many hardest issues I’ve needed to take care of in my hockey profession,” Sieloff admitted concerning the wait.


Earlier than the U.S. sport in opposition to Russia, Sieloff was notified that it was certainly him that will be the ultimate participant on Workforce USA’s World Junior roster. That revelation got here with combined feelings for the Calgary Flames second-round choose due to his shut private friendship with former Nationwide Workforce Improvement Program teammate Grzelcyk.


“We knew that one in every of us was going,” Sieloff mentioned. “He’s one in every of my finest buddies already, however for us to undergo that collectively, it wasn’t simple, however we caught collectively and mentioned ‘No matter occurs, occurs. We each made it this far and we did our job and it’s simply their job now.’ That’s sort of how we went about it.”


The present Windsor Spitfires reargaurd dressed because the seventh defenseman in video games in opposition to Russia, Canada and Slovakia, however noticed his ice time improve because the match went on. A one-game suspension to Shayne Gostisbehere for the quarterfinal in opposition to the Czech Republic meant Sieloff would must be referred to as upon much more.


“It’s by no means good to have a participant go down, particularly to suspension, however when that occurs, gamers need to step up,” Sieloff mentioned.


With the shortened bench, Sieloff discovered himself reunited on a pairing with Jacob Trouba, a participant Sieloff had been teammates with all through youth hockey and on the NTDP the earlier two seasons.


“It’s good to get again with him,” Sieloff mentioned of teaming up together with his longtime good friend. “It’s been some time. It’s all the time good to have a participant like that in your facet.”


Sieloff, who’s from Ann Arbor, Mich., mentioned he felt fairly good about how he and Trouba performed collectively.


“We’re simple to learn off one another,” Sieloff mentioned. “We’ve performed for seven or eight years collectively, so a few months cut up, it hasn’t been unhealthy in any respect. We play with different gamers now, however after we do get the prospect to play with one another, it simply will get again to regular, studying off one another and realizing how we play.”


Although it was tense for a couple of days there for Sieloff earlier than the match started, he’s taking advantage of his time in Ufa by doing no matter he’s requested.


“I knew coming in, if I used to be going to make this crew, I wasn’t going to be a high man by any means, I used to be going to be a man that was simply doing what I do and enjoying my sport,” he mentioned.


Enjoying his sport may come in useful within the rematch in opposition to Canada on Thursday within the semifinals.


“These are the video games I look ahead to,” Sieloff mentioned. “Canada-U.S. is without doubt one of the largest rivalries on the market. It isn’t a toe-drag sport, it isn’t a high-end ability sport. It’s get the puck deep, who’s hitting probably the most, who’s blocking photographs — and that’s the sort of sport I really like.”


Though it’s been a rollercoaster experience, it’s been effectively price it for Sieloff.


“Wanting again proper now, it’s loopy, we’re a pair video games away from having the prospect to go for a medal,” he mentioned. “It’s superior.”


Story from Pink Line Editorial, Inc.