By Sam Arseneau
Nikita Alexandrov skates with the Charlottetown Islanders (Photo credits: Charlottetown Islanders)
Charlottetown Islanders centre Nikita Alexandrov has returned to PEI after a largely positive experience playing at the World Juniors Hockey Championships.
It has been less than a month since Alexandrov took a break from playing with the QMJHL Charlottetown Islanders to attend the IIHF World Junior Championships to represent his home country, Russia.
The 44th IIHF World Junior Championships, which took place from December 26th to January 5th in the Czech Republic, showcased the talent of junior hockey players from 10 different countries.
After returning to PEI, Alexandrov took the time to speak the Cadre reporter his time in the championships.
“It was a dream for me to play for and represent my country. To play for my country was an honour, I felt blessed. It was my first time playing in the international team so it was special,” he said.
Alexandrov referred to the championships as a high-intensity experience in which you have to play every game as if it was your last.
In the gold-medal game Russia faced off against Canada. In the end, Canada was victorious, but the Russians still left with a silver medal.
Alexandrov scored the first goal in the gold-medal game, which he says was an exciting moment.
“There were a lot of emotions going on and then when I scored I was excited and happy.”
When asked about the team demeanour after the game, Alexandrov said they were pretty upset given they just lost of the gold-medal game.
He added that after some time the team cooled down and talked together. Alexandrov’s team soon realized they should be proud of themselves and how far they made it.
Alexandrov said he received a lot of support from people in PEI during and after the tournament. Support came from his teammates on the Charlottetown Islanders, coaches, his billet family, as well as random Islanders sending him positive messages.
Alexandrov is not the first member of his family to don number 24 in the World Juniors. His father, Igor Alexandrov, played for Team Russia in the 1993 World Junior Championships.
“My dad always believed in me. To watch me play in the World Juniors made him really happy, and I had the same number he had it which made him really happy,” Alexandrov told the Cadre.
“I was happy I could share those moments with my family.”
While his experience of playing in the World Junior Championships was an exciting and memorable time, Alexandrov says he is happy to be back to the Island.