TEAM CANADA - Sylvan Lake native Tyler Steenbergen has been invited to try out for the Canadian National Junior Team. Photo Submitted

Tyler Steenbergen etches his name into Canadian hockey history

Sylvan Lake native scores huge tournament-winner at World Juniors

Tyler Steenbergen, Sylvan Lake native and Swift Current Bronco, has added his name to a prestigious list of Canadian legends after he scored the winning goal at the World Junior Championships in Buffalo, New York.

Steenbergen chipped in the goal, his first in the tournament, through the Swedish netminder after Canadian d-man Connor Timmins zipped him a perfect pass through two defenders.

“I was starting to get some shifts by the end of the game,” Steenbergen said. “Obviously you want to score that goal to win the game. You want to be that one that lifts the guys up. When I scored it, I had a bunch of emotions running through. I don’t really remember what I was thinking after it happened.”

Steenbergen, who is currently tied with Glenn Gawdin for the goal lead in Swift Current with 35, was forced to play a very different role on Team Canada.

“I was the 13th forward but I knew going in that I had to play a role,” he said. “That was the role I was given and I was happy to have the Canadian sweater on my jersey and wanted to help the team win in any way possible.”

Scoring the winning goal of the tournament is a pretty good way to help your team win and cement a legacy that Canadians will remember for a long time.

“I was just living in the moment and enjoying it,” Steenbergen said. “I know a bunch of people have been saying it is along the lines of Jordan Eberle and Jonathan Toews. To be a part of any conversation with any of those guys, it’s pretty surreal and a pretty special moment for sure.”

Steenbergen had some time to rest at home before returning to Swift Current to complete his WHL season.

“I’ve seen some familiar faces and getting congratulations. It’s been pretty crazy and fun couple days. It will slow down when we get on our U.S. road trip, so it will be nice to get away for a little bit,” he said.

He added the support from Central Alberta has been greatly appreciated.

“My hometown, Sylvan Lake, was behind me the whole tournament and even from Red Deer where I grew up playing my minor hockey,” he said.

After becoming a Candian Hockey hero, Steenbergen will look to add to his resume.

“We made a couple big trades here in Swift, so we are looking to the playoffs. We have a really good team and can do a lot in the playoffs. Our main goal right now is to make it to the Memorial Cup in Regina,” he said.

He added, “Going in, the ice time wasn’t there but at the end of the day, it all doesn’t matter. I have a gold medal around my neck and won another championship for Canada. That is all that matters.”

todd.vaughan@reddeerexpress.com

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