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Sens prospects warm to WJC debut

O'Brien, Karlsson, Petersson off to a winning start in 2009 tournament

Friday, 26.12.2008 / 8:28 PM / 2009 World Junior Championship
By Rob Brodie  - OttawaSenators.com
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Sens prospects warm to WJC debut
Consider the ice officially broken for Jim O'Brien.

Even if the Ottawa Senators prospect wasn't exactly unfamiliar with Scotiabank Place before his U.S. team opened the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship with an 8-2 romp past Germany on Wednesday afternoon.

O'Brien, the Senators' top pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, wore the team's colours on home ice for the first time back in September during a pre-season game against the New York Rangers. This season of firsts continued earlier today, when the Minnesota native suited up for his homeland for the first time at a world junior championship.

"It was a lot of fun," O'Brien said after contributing an assist to the Americans' cause in their easy conquest of Germany. "Great fans out there tonight, just a good experience.

"You could just feel the energy in the building. It was really enthusiastic. It was fun."

Two years ago, O'Brien represented the U.S. at the Under-18 worlds. He called it another moment of pride when he learned he'd get the chance to wear the stars and stripes one more time here in Ottawa.

"It was an honour," O'Brien said in recalling the day he learned he'd be part of a U.S. team that is considered one of the top contenders for gold at this WJC. "It's not every day you get to represent your country at a world tournament and it was a real special feeling. I'm just going to go out there and do the best I can."

If there were any pre-game jitters, they didn't last long.

"I think everybody's got a little nerves," said O'Brien, 19. "I think you just kind of work them out in the warmup and the first period."

O'Brien is one of three Senators prospects taking part in the 2009 WJC. The other two play for Sweden, another pre-tournament medal favourite, and were Ottawa picks in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft at Scotiabank Place: Defenceman Erik Karlsson, the Senators' first-rounder, and forward Andre Petersson, who was selected in the fourth round.

Petersson chipped in an assist as Sweden dumped Finland 3-1 in its tournament opener at the Ottawa Civic Centre.

Note: Canada's 8-1 rout of the Czech Republic drew 19,564 to Scotiabank Place, the largest single-game audience in world junior history. With more than 460,000 tickets sold, the 2009 Ottawa WJC has already set an all-time record for total attendance.



SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06