Shayne Gostisbehere is a bit tired, and he is happy to be eating American food again.
And, yes, Gostisbehere realizes he didn’t make a smart play that led to him getting suspended.
The Union sophomore defenseman returned to campus Monday, just two days after helping Team USA win the gold medal at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Ufa, Russia. The Americans beat defending champion Sweden, 3-1, to win the gold medal for the third time. Team USA previously won in 2004 and 2010.
Gostisbehere spoke about his time with Team USA and winning gold during a press conference Monday afternoon at Messa Rink.
“It still hasn’t sunk in,” Gostisbehere said. “I don’t even remember the celebration. I cried, I’ll admit it. It was truly awesome. I look at the medal sometimes, and you really can’t believe it.”
It’s a time that he will never forget.
“It’s one of the best hockey experiences of my life,” Gostisbehere said. “It’s different from winning the ECACs last year. It’s a different feeling knowing that you won for your country.”
Gostisbehere had a goal and an assist in six games. He also had a game-winning overtime goal against Sweden in a WJC pre-tournament game.
But Gostisbehere got in some big trouble for his actions late in the first period of the final preliminary-round game against Slovakia last Monday.
Slovakia forward Matus Matis carrying the puck up the ice toward the U.S. zone. Gostisbehere was a stride behind Matis when he put his stick between Matis’ legs and hitting him in the groin area. Matis went down for a minute, but remained in the game.
However, Gostisbehere received a five-minute major for slashing and a game misconduct. Slovakia scored one power-play goal during the five minutes.
The next day, the International Ice Hockey Federation imposed a one-game suspension on Gostisbehere. He missed the quarterfinal game against the Czech Republic, which Team USA won, 7-0.
Gostisbehere returned for Team USA’s 5-1 semifinal win over Canada, but played just four shifts in the game. He had a regular shift in the gold-medal game.
Gostisbehere wasn’t happy with himself for what he had done.
“He did something to me in the corner, and I got slew footed,” Gostisbehere said. “I did something stupid. It was dumb, and it hurt my team in the end, putting them on a five-minute power play. I wish I could take it back, but I wouldn’t have changed anything. I’ve still got the gold medal around my neck.”
Asked what he learned from it, Gostisbehere said, “Relax after something happens. Go change, don’t chase him.”
Gostisbehere found Ufa a bit interesting. He wasn’t crazy about the food.
“I’m just happy to eat normal food, sorry Russia,” Gostisbehere said.