International Ice Hockey Federation

Thoresen reflects

Thoresen reflects

Norwegian veteran touts Haugen, Paris experience

Published 17.05.2017 14:01 GMT+2 | Author Lucas Aykroyd
Thoresen reflects
PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 6: Norway's Patrick Thoresen #41 an France's Nicolas Ritz #25 battle for the puck during preliminary round action at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. (Photo by Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Patrick Thoresen isn’t happy with Norway’s 11th place finish at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. Still, as usual, he stepped up as a leader.

Here in Paris, the 33-year-old Oslo native led the team – coached by his father and fellow Polar Bears icon Petter – with seven points (3-4-7). Physical, smart, and committed, Thoresen carried over momentum from a solid debut season in Switzerland with ZSC Lions (18-27-45).

And despite the fact the Norwegians didn’t flourish in Paris, the ex-NHLer and longtime KHL star can take pride in his role in booking his nation’s ticket to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, Korea. With four assists in three games in September’s qualification tournament in Oslo, Thoresen ranked second overall behind teammate Mats Zuccarello. chatted with the Norwegian assistant captain after the closing 4-3 loss to Belarus on Tuesday.

When you look back, what was your highlight at this tournament?

I would say getting points against the Czechs and Finns was the highlight. The big wins against France and Slovenia were also important as well. Those are the games we probably need to win to stay in this group.

What was the experience of playing an IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in France like?

I would say up and down. On the weekends, when we had a large Norwegian crowd coming in, it was good. Obviously, the game against France was fun. The crowds were up and down. But overall, it’s a nice city here, and we were able to do some sightseeing on the days off, see France closer up. Overall, I had a good experience.

Lars Haugen was named one of your team’s three best players. He put up some good numbers under fire. What do you like about the way Lars battles in net?

I think he’s grown the last few years. He’s very calm in his game right now. To have a good goalie back there makes our defence much more comfortable, and I think that’s been our biggest improvement in our game this tournament, that we are playing solid defensively. Without him back there, many of the results would have been different.

Have you been practicing your Korean for next year?

[laughs] No, not yet! I know nothing about Korea. Maybe I’ll start practicing now.

With the way your team is composed, do you see an opportunity to possibly finish higher at the Olympics if NHL players aren’t in South Korea?

It’s hard to say. I think the top six nations still have a lot of good players playing in the KHL and European top leagues. For Team Norway, it’s going to be tough anyway, I think.

What are your plans for the off-season?

I just want to get back to that good feeling of getting into good shape again and getting ready for next season.


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