NHL veteran wants more world gold

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 6:14 PM ET

Patrice Bergeron is Canada's lone golden boy and he's hoping to add another to his collection in a couple of weeks. Although the 19-year-old centre from Ancienne-Lorette, Que. has never played for Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championship, he represented his country at the 2004 IIHF world hockey championship in the Czech Republic this past spring.

That team came away with a gold medal, making it quite a Team Canada debut for Bergeron, who spent all of last season with the Boston Bruins and became the first player to appear in the world championship before the world juniors.

"It's hard to describe ... just to have a chance to be on that team, I didn't expect it at all," said Bergeron, who had 16 goals and 39 points in 71 games last season as the youngest player in the NHL. "To go to that tournament was awesome, a great experience. I learned so much. And to win the gold medal was terrific. It was unbelievable.

"Obviously I'll try to bring the experience that I have to the team. Maybe I have some more experience because I went there (world championship) but there are some great players out here and I have to prove myself that I'm ready and I can make this team."

Unlike many players going from the NHL to the AHL this season because of the NHL lockout, Bergeron has made a smooth transition, producing 10 goals and 27 points in 25 games this season for the Providence Bruins.

"It's been a good year, it's a good experience there and I'm staying positive," Bergeron said. "Those guys can teach me, give me some tips to improve on. Staying in the organization is great. Obviously I want to keep playing. I can't control the lockout. I don't want to think about it, I just want to keep improving my game. For sure, sometimes you think about what's going to happen and stuff like that. But I have to stay focused and think about playing and getting better."

Bergeron skated on a line with Sidney Crosby of the QMJHL's Rimouski Oceanic and Corey Perry of the London Knights yesterday, forming a trio that could be tough to contain if it finds some chemistry.


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