Victoria Royals defenseman, Joe Hicketts won Gold for Team Canada at the Under-18 2013 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournamen after defeating Team USA 4-0.
I spoke with a beaming Hicketts right after the win,
“All the guys are celebrating, obviously we’re excited, we’ve got the music playing in the dressing room right now and I’m outside and can hear it!”
Arguably it was the most important game he's ever played in.
“I think it probably is the biggest, I’ve never been on the international stage, ready to win a Gold medal and have the opportunity, so just one step up there on probably the biggest team I’ve ever played.”
What did he think gave Team Canada the edge?
“I think we had depth. I think that was proved with our penalty kill that was excellent throughout the tournament. I think we all just bought into the system.”
The streak of Gold Medals for Canada at the U-18 is now 6 straight.
“It’s definitely unreal, winning the 6th (Team Canada wins the U-18 World Championships) is something special and getting done with this group of guys is unbelievable.”
Matt Cade @TSNMattCade tweeted: "5'6" Canadian defenceman Joe Hicketts has thrown more big hits in this tournament than any of his teammates. Great skater, great timing."
“I don’t think it was goal, I think it was more getting into the other teams top players face, not make them want to play in the 3rd. I think I did that well. I was hitting early in the game and then I toned it back…just trying to eliminate their top players from getting their game established.”
Hicketts had is parents come out for support as well.
“It’s definitely a surreal feeling right now and it will sink in more as time goes by.”
After playing 6 games in 8 days, Hicketts will get some much deserved rest as he’s off to visit family in Ontario and then back to Kamloops for a few days. He hopes to arrive in Victoria on August 22nd for training camp.
- Marlon Martens
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Below is the official Press Release:
ROYALS’ JOE HICKETTS WINS GOLD WITH TEAM CANADA
Victoria defenceman and Team Canada’s Under-18 team take top spot at 2013 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament.
For Immediate Release
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Victoria, BC – The Victoria Royals are proud to announce that defenceman Joe Hicketts has won a gold medal with Team Canada’s Under-18 team after defeating Team USA 4-0 at the 2013 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament.
The win marked Hicketts’ first international gold medal while Team Canada picked up its sixth consecutive gold at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament. Named an alternate captain by Head Coach Dale Hunter, Hicketts picked up two assists and eight penalty minutes through five games at the prestigious annual event.
Hicketts’ first taste of action with the Under-18 team came when he suited up for Team Canada last April. Hicketts took part in two exhibition games at the 2013 IIHF Under-18 World Championships in Sochi, Russia as an underage player. The 5-8 rearguard completed his rookie season with the Royals last year and posted 24 points (6g-18a) over 67 games played. Named the club’s 2012-13 Rookie of the Year, Hicketts also notched one assist in six games during the 2013 WHL Playoffs.
Drafted 12th overall in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft, Hicketts is no stranger to Hockey Canada. The Kamloops, BC native was named captain of Team Pacific for the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge this past season where he registered six points (1g-5a) in five games of competition. The rookie blueliner was also named as the captain of Team Canada for the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games last year where he collected five points (0g-5a) en route to a bronze medal.
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