Matt Caron was an Assistant Captain on the team that brought home the bronze medal from Slovakia. He sits down with us to talk about his experience…

1.  What was it like during the build up to the tournament at the camp?

The build up during our Team USA camp in New Jersey was great. Our team started to build chemistry since day 1, through the team BBQ’s and the practices we had. Everyone bonded so well and were excited to start a brotherhood with the rest of the players, weather you were from MA, PA, NJ, or NY it didn’t matter we just had a connection.

2.  How did the coaches coach you guys up at the camp?

The coaches were great at the camp. It was kind of cool having younger coaches because everyone looked up to them knowing that they’ve been in our shoes only a few years ago. They were kind of like big brothers to us; we could go to any one of them if we had anything to talk about, whether it was about hockey or just everyday things in life. They would stick around after all the practices and games and we’d all crack jokes with each other and just have a good time. Unlike other coaches that would usually go hangout among themselves. They just really connected with us.

3.  What was the feeling overall when you left camp for the airport?

The feeling when we left for the airport was awesome. After a great weekend of playing together and getting to know one another, everyone was just so anxious to be in Slovakia and ready to play the Czech Republic in the opening game.

4.  The first game against Czech, a long time powerhouse team, what did you guys tell yourselves?

Well we knew the Czech’s were going to be a tough game, but we were ready for them. There wasn’t one person on the team who wasn’t amped up and ready to go. We came out flying and the energy throughout the team was through the roof.

 5.  After the first game, how did you feel.?

I felt amazing after beating the Czech’s 5-2. Like I said the energy of our team was through the roof and I had no doubts in my mind about our team. After we had won the game they couldn’t find our national anthem and all the boys came together and we sang it. That feeling alone was indescribable.

6.  Going into the 1st Canada game, win and you’re in.  You lost by 1.  Why do you think you lost that game?

I think we lost that game because of a few bad penalties that I didn’t really agree with, but once the refs make the call there’s no taking it back. It kind of screwed us, almost like we spotted them 4 points before we actually started to play. Honestly though the way our team came together in the 3rd period was insane, we made it 4-3 and almost tied the game with only seconds left on the clock. Not one person gave up on each other and it was great to know that we all left every bit of energy we had on the rink. It really goes to show how much heart we had as a team.

7.  Rebounding and beating the team that knocked you out of gold contention for Bronze had to feel good.  Describe your emotions.

It felt great to beat team Canada after they knocked us out of the gold medal game. We weren’t leaving Slovakia with nothing and even though our medal wasn’t gold the friendships and memories we all made really made it seem like it was.

8.  What was Coach Gregory’s theme going into the medal game?

Steve had a good theme going into the medal game. Our objective wasn’t so much to go out flying like every other game, it was more or less to play lock down D and attack on every mistake they made and it worked really well. After the first goal we got they just kept on coming.

9.  What about ASHI in general as far as getting two teams over to Slovakia for this tournament. What do you think about the job they did?

Chris Banks and Ricky Laperriere did a great job getting both US teams to Slovakia. Without them none of it would’ve happened. We thank them very much for giving us the experience we had. They’re both great guys.

10. Scott Tarzy the GM.  He had final say on the roster and was instrumental in making sure you guys were as organized as you were.  Talk about the job Scott Tarzy did.

Scott Tarzy did a phenomenal job organizing. At first it sucked seeing some of my friends who I thought should’ve made the team get cut, but after meeting everyone who made the team and playing with them I realized that they were all there for a reason and sure as hell deserved their spot.

11.  Any closing words?

I want to thank everyone who helped put these teams together and made it all happen. I will never forget our team and it was great to make a brotherhood with all the boys. The memories we made will never be forgotten!