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Sens prospects warm to WJC debut

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

Friday, 12.26.2008 / 8:28 PM ET / 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.



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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
3 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
4 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
5 OTT 74 37 25 12 216 199 86
6 FLA 75 34 26 15 186 205 83
7 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
8 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 74 19 41 9 60
K. Turris 74 22 32 -1 54
B. Ryan 70 18 35 9 53
M. Stone 72 19 33 14 52
M. Hoffman 71 26 20 19 46
M. Zibanejad 72 19 24 2 43
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
C. MacArthur 54 13 14 -10 27
D. Legwand 72 9 18 2 27
A. Chiasson 68 11 15 -4 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Hammond 14 1 1 .938 1.92
C. Anderson 14 12 8 .923 2.48