After picking up a goal and two assists against Russia in a 4-2 victory, Joey Dudek spoke about the tournament so far and looking ahead to the future.
Special teams were a massive difference in today’s game. Is that what you’ve been working on in training?
Definitely, because we have the keys to the game on the board inside our locker room, and that’s one of the most important things. We have to bear down and win on our special teams, and we proved that today. That’s why we got a big win.
Three points for you personally today, are you happy with your game at the moment?
Points aren’t everything to me, but I feel that everything clicked today. Everybody played a great game and they were able to help me out with the points that I had today.
Alex Nedeljkovic was in fine form today. Is that a confidence boost when you’re playing with a goaltender playing that well?
Definitely, it’s a game changer. It starts with him, then it goes to our defence and we score goals as forwards. He played well for us today.
How is the feeling in the locker room at the moment?
Really upbeat. I’ve heard that some of these teams have been together for a while. We just got together nine days ago. It’s a really special feeling just to have a close knit group and to get so close in such a short amount of time. That’s what hockey is, forming bonds and having these friends for the rest of your life. I’ll remember this group for a while.
What is it like to represent the United States in international play?
It’s awesome. This is my fourth summer coming to Europe and the second time with the U.S.A. It’s a special feeling to represent your country, especially the great country we have. It’s quite an honour and I’m very proud to play for the U.S.
How is it going from the U.S. High School system to playing internationally?
It’s definitely a challenge, and that’s why I’m here. I’m here to get better and they are helping me with that. I’m here to do well with my team and get the gold medal.
How important do you see the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup to your development?
It’s huge because I think I’m playing with the top guys in the country, and they’re just making me better as I go. A lot of thanks and kudos to them.