Kelowna Rocket defenceman Kaedan Korczak says it hurt to have to settle for silver at world juniors

Korczak: Silver hurts

Great memories, great friendships but a terrible way to end.

That's how Kelowna Rockets defenceman Kaedan Korczak will remember the 52 days he spent with teammates at the 2021 World Junior Hockey Championships in Edmonton.

The only downer to the nearly two-month experience was the way it ended Monday night, as Canada was forced to settle for the silver medal after losing 2-0 to the U.S. in the gold medal game.

"It was tough. You don't dream of winning silver, you dream of winning gold," Korczak told Castanet from Airdrie, AB, where he is spending a few days with relatives.

"Having it taken away from you right in front of your eyes...it was tough to say the least."

Canada had not lost going into the gold medal game, in fact, they had never trailed until the Americans opened the scoring late in the first period.

"It was 21 minutes of not Canadian hockey. We fell behind the eight ball and couldn't get back on the scoreboard."

Despite the disappointing loss, Korczak says he will take away a lot from his experience with the national junior team.

The biggest of those, the off ice relationships formed after being so close together for nearly two months.

"Today would have been the 53rd day. Last night when we said goodbye, it was tough.

"We got to be super close. It was definitely a great experience with that group of guys."

His biggest takeaway was just how tight the team was able to get.

Korczak says he was also fortunate just to be able to get some meaningful ice time.

While most players his age are unable to get much in the way of ice time, he was able to continue his development at a high level.

That will continue when he joins the NHL's Vegas Golden Knights next week.

Korczak will spend the next few days relaxing in Airdrie before he flies out Friday to join the Golden Knights.

He'll quarantine for seven days before he's able to suit up with the team.

From there, Korczak says he's unsure of what the team's plans are for him, or what the rest of the season holds with the uncertainty still surrounding a possible return to play for the Western Hockey League.

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