June 20th, 2024

Kisio reflects on winning the gold medal at World Juniors

By Lethbridge Herald on January 11, 2023.

Assistant coach Brent Kisio celebrates with Team Canada after winning gold over Czechia during overtime of the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship gold medal game in Halifax on Thursday, January 5, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Justin Seward – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – sports@lethbridgeherald.com

Lethbridge Hurricanes head coach Brent Kisio had an unforgettable experience winning the gold medal with Team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championship in Halifax.

Canada beat Czechia 3-2 in overtime on Jan. 5 to win the gold medal.

“Well, it was quite the experience,” said Kisio.

“It was an honour to coach for Team Canada and obviously the way we ended up winning it was pretty darn exciting. And a lot of emotions, and the place was rocking and you know a lot of credit to Halifax and Moncton for the tournament they put on and how much fun it was.”

Kisio agreed it was a special group of players to work with.

“I think that’s to say the least,” he said.

“And with our coaching staff, I was lucky to work with some very good coaches and learned a lot there. But our players were exceptional players, and we had some talent … up front obviously and I thought our goaltender did a great job with (Thomas)Milic playing net. And all thought the line-up, just a lot of team buy in and a lot of great players doing some special things.”

Kisio had a front row seat to witnessing Regina Pats forward and projected first overall pick in this year’s NHL draft, Connor Bedard, breaking records.

Bedard set new records with points in a single tournament with 23, assists with 14, putting up 36 points in 16 total tournament games over the last year and the 16 goals he scored surpassed Jordan Eberle’s 14.

“Yeah it was pretty special,” said Kisio.

“I think seeing what he could do on the ice and obviously the goals he scored and the numbers he put up and only being 17, you don’t see that very often. It was pretty special to see and something I won’t forget being a part of. He’s a dynamic player and as good as he is on the ice, he’s just a good person off the ice.”

He said it’s just an honour when it comes to representing Canada.

“There’s a lot of weight there to make sure you do things right and (are) prepared and have players on the right spots and ready to go,” said Kisio.

“But it’s an absolute honour and a privilege to coach for Canada. And to win gold (and) to bring it home for your country, is always special.”

Kisio felt there was a lot that he could take from that experience to bring back to the Hurricanes.

“You go through a lot of different experiences,” said Kisio.

“You see the best players and how they prepare and how hard they practice. You know from a coaching staff perspective, just the preparation and how much work goes into it. There’s a lot of experience you can learn from and then the emotions from the games, and going through those overtimes and the pressure kind of situations you’re in. I don’t think you’ll get much more than a gold medal game (in) overtime for Canada.”

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