Union defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and Boston College forward Johnny Gaudreau will face each other as opponents this afternoon when their teams meet in the NCAA Frozen Four at 5:06 p.m at the Wells Fargo Center.
But in the 2013 World Junior Championships, they were teammates, helping Team USA win the gold medal. Not only were they teammates, they were also roommates during the tournament in Ufa, Russia.
“He was a really nice kid,” Gostisbehere said. “I remember he had some homework to finish up. He’s definitely a nice kid, really easy-going. You couldn’t even tell that he’s one of the best hockey players, he’s so humble.”
Gaudreau, who is the favorite to win the Hobey Baker Award on Friday, led Team USA with seven goals, and tied for the team lead with nine points. He is the country’s top scorer this season with 35 goals and 42 assists.
“Every time he has the puck, something is going to happen,” Gostisbehere said. “He’s a special player. He’s great with the puck. He can make anything happen from nothing.”
It was luck of the draw that they ended up as roommates.
“Maybe because our last names start with G,” Gostisbehere said.
There some interesting moments while rooming in Ufa.
“The biggest challenge was finding something to watch on TV because there weren’t too many channels we could understand over there,” Gostisbehere said. “I’m pretty sure we watched Netflix, stuff like that.”
“Yeah, we had a few problems,” Gaudreau said. “We couldn’t get one English channel on the TV. I think we were watching ‘SportsCenter’ or whatever they’ve got over there in Russian. So it was difficult to watch that.”
Gostisbehere was the Dutchmen’s second Hobey Baker top-10 finalist, but he didn’t make the final three. The ECAC Hockey Co-Player of the Year and co-winner of the Best Defensive Defenseman Award has eight goals and 21 assists with a defensive rating of plus-28.
Gaudreau was surprised that Gostisbehere didn’t make the Hobey Hat Trick.
“He’s a good player,” Gaudreau said. “He’s a great player off the ice. He’s fun to watch. He’s a great offensive player. We have to make sure we’re watching out for him. He’s shifty. He’s very quick and fast with the puck. He’s got great vision. We definitely need to keep an eye on him. He’s a great player, and I’m looking forward to getting a chance to play against him again.”