Anderson MacDonald earns men's hockey silver at Youth Olympics
Canada's men's hockey team lost gold medal game to the United States at the event in Lillehammer, Norway
A 15-year-old hockey player from Quispamsis has just returned from Lillehammer, Norway, with a silver medal, the only player from New Brunswick chosen for the 2016 Youth Olympics men's team.
Anderson MacDonald, a forward with the Saint John Vito's Midget AAA team, won the silver medal with Team Canada.
He said the hockey itself was also memorable and he learned a lot from the coaches.
"It was fast, it was really fast. Everybody was so skilled and smart and it was just high tempo, high paced the whole time," he said.
Canada's men's hockey team advanced to the finals and the gold medal game was against rivals the United States.
MacDonald said the team played well but got into some penalty trouble and there were some questionable calls. One goal was called back, but says it happens and is part of the game.
"We tried our best and didn't come out on top, but sometimes winning isn't everything and the experience was great, just to have the silver medal. too," he said.
He said he was lucky enough to have his mother, sister and grandparents with him in Norway for support.
"It was great. They were always up in the same spot at the rink, they were always cheering with the Canadian flag, it was great to see them there," he said.
'Woah, this is something cool'
The Quispamsis teen said the selection process for the team began back before Christmas when Hockey Canada scouts and coaches drew up a shortlist of players.
On Jan. 10, players were called and offered a spot on the roster.
"You get the call and it's like, "Woah, this is something cool'," he said.
Just before the team departed for Norway, they met for a four-day training camp in Calgary.
This was only the second time the Youth Winter Olympics have been held and MacDonald said organizers made sure there was plenty of other things athletes could do outside of competition.
A huge fair was going on at the same time, with games and activities from around the world.
"Once you were there, it wasn't just about hockey for once at a tournament. It was about everything. You always focus on hockey, but it was spectacular," MacDonald said.
The opening ceremonies on Feb. 12 was an opportunity to meet the other members of Team Canada.
"They're just like you. They're there, trying to represent their country the best they can. They were great people," he said.
"We walked in and you just look around and there's 10,000 people there watching you come in and cheering for you."
Next for MacDonald is possibly school in the United States or the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League to further his education and hockey career.
It's a decision he is working on with his parents.
"We kind of talk about it here and there," he said.
"We don't sit down and talk about it every night, because they would just stress us out … but it's always in the back of your mind."