International Ice Hockey Federation

“I hope they all come again”

“I hope they all come again”

Justin Krueger looking forward to Worlds

Published 02.05.2017 16:37 GMT+2 | Author Martin Merk
“I hope they all come again”
Justin Krueger during the last Worlds on home ice, in 2010. Photo: Matthew Manor / HHOF-IIHF Images
Justin Krueger prepares to play his seventh IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship for host Germany. We had a chat with him.

The son of Ralph Krueger, the Canada-born former German national team player and head coach of the Edmonton Oilers and the Swiss national team, recently finished his fifth season with SC Bern in Switzerland winning his second Swiss championship.

Krueger was born 1986 not far from Cologne, in Dusseldorf when his father played there and later grew up in Switzerland before playing one year of junior hockey in Canada, four years of NCAA hockey with the Cornell University and two AHL seasons with the Charlotte Checkers. Since then he calls the Swiss capital of Berne his home and has played six consecutive World Championships between 2010 and 2015. This month the seventh Worlds is waiting for him. He talked with us about some topics.

His time in Berne:
I feel well in Berne. Winning the championships was incredible. We have a good group of guys. I like it there.

His background as German with Canadian roots and growing up in Switzerland:
I feel German but of course I have different roots and feelings. I have a Canadian background and live in Switzerland but nowadays you get around in hockey pretty fast. I’m glad I can play for Germany. I’ve worn this jersey for 15 years, since the U16 with Germany and I’m proud to still be with the teams.

Following Team Europe at the World Cup:
I followed the games. It was an intensive time also for the German players. One could see that they really wanted the success and stuck together, formed a unit to have a chance to play for the World Cup title. I’m very proud of the work my father has done as a coach.

Missing and following the successful Olympic Qualification with a tight win vs. Latvia in Riga:
Unfortunately I was injured and saw it on TV but that made me even more nervous. The boys did an incredible job and played hard. We’re of course very much looking forward to be part of the Olympics.

His most successful moments:
I had my first title with the Cornell University and then in Berne. That’s for sure my biggest success. Sometimes small moments are beautiful as well like when you get drafted, you play your first game as a pro or you can play at an Ice Hockey World Championship. That we became fourth at the 2010 Worlds on home ice was almost like winning the championship for us. It showed that we can keep up with the top teams. That’s a goal we always follow.

The Worlds on home ice:
It’s special to be able to play on home ice in Cologne again and that the Worlds will be hosted together with Paris. The fans last time were great. I hope they all come again. The fans supported us very well and were loud. That gave us energy and we also had a good atmosphere behind the ice. I hope that all Germany will support us. Not just in football but also a bit hockey.

What’s needed to succeed again?
You have to work step by step. You always have goals in the back of your head but eventually one has to focus on the next game, win it and get better each game. That’s the small steps we have to make together.


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