Hockey Canada Network |
News
It's His Time: Esposito Hits The World Stage
Alan Adams
|
WJC.032.08
|
December 30, 2008
|
|

KANATA, ON – His family name is entrenched in Canadian hockey lore, and he has an Uncle Phil and an Uncle Tony to boot.

But Angelo Esposito is making a name for himself as a member of Canada's National Junior Team in its drive for five straight gold medals at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Esposito is from Montreal and is not related to Phil and Tony Esposito, Hockey Hall of Fame brothers who hail from Sault Ste. Marie, ON.

Angelo Esposito is the story of a hockey player not giving up his dream. His is a story of a scoring sensation in his mid-teens who redefined his game to chase his goal of representing Canada on the world stage.

The 2009 World Juniors is the fourth time that Esposito found himself in the mix for the Canadian team, and this year marks the first time he has made the cut.

"It would have been easy for that young man to lay down and not try and a lot of people wanted him to do that," said head coach Pat Quinn. "For some strange reason, Canadians want to hammer the peg down rather than cheer when he gets back up.

"When he came in here, I do not think we gave him any leeway just because we liked the story. He earned it and he is changing his game. He was an offensive element in a game and that offensive element started to dry up and he thought he had better be a better player in different ways and he has gone about trying to do it."

Esposito realized a few years ago that he had to become a more complete player if he wanted to wear Canada's colors on the world stage. Knowing that this was his last chance to play in the pressure-packed World Juniors, he set his sights last summer on making the team.

He worked on his fitness, honing the things he need to work on to show he can he as good on defence as he is on offence. He got his strength up and worked on mental part of the game.

"I came in here with the mindset I had to compete," said Esposito, who is actually trilingual, speaking French, English and Italian. "Take the body, be first on the puck and move my feet. I didn't worry much about scoring and tried to be the best player I can be away from the puck.”

He says the transformation from being a 16-year-old scoring machine to being a more rounded player at 19 was simply "part of growing up."

"You always think about scoring and skill and skill and what you realize is there is a lot more to it and it is hard work more than anything else,'' he says.

Esposito added to his memories when he scored a goal in Canada's 8-1 win over Czech Republic. His parents and brother and sister were in the stands and as hard as he tried to find them after he netted his goal, he could not find them in a sea of fans dressed in red and white.

"You always think about people who support you all the time and scoring for Team Canada with all your friends and family there was special," he said. "But honestly, I was not looking for that first goal. My goal is to win the gold medal right now and that is just what I want."


For more information:

André Brin
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4557
abrin@hockeycanada.ca

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4564
fdupont@hockeycanada.ca

Jason LaRose
Manager, Content Services
Hockey Canada
403-777-4553
jlarose@hockeycanada.ca

Kristen Lipscombe
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-284-6427
klipscombe@hockeycanada.ca

Keegan Goodrich
Coordinator, Media
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
kgoodrich@hockeycanada.ca

facebook.com/hockeycanada

twitter.com/hockeycanada

youtube.com/hockeycanadavideos

Videos
Photos
2014 WWU18C: CAN 5 – USA 1
Mar 30, 2014
U18 women win gold.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 1 – RUS 0 (OT)
Mar 29, 2014
Canada edges Russia in overtime.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 5 – CZE 0
Mar 26, 2014
Canadians shut out Czechs.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 7 – FIN 0
Mar 24, 2014
U18 women blank Finland.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 7 – JPN 1
Mar 23, 2014
Canada starts Worlds with win
2014 PARA: CAN 3 – NOR 0 (Bronze)
Mar 15, 2014
Billy Bridges scored a pair of goals to lead Canada to a Paralympic bronze.
2014 PARA: USA 3 – CAN 0 (Semifinal)
Mar 13, 2014
Corbin Watson made seven saves, but Canada will play for Paralympic bronze.
2014 PARA: CAN 1 – CZE 0 (Preliminary)
Mar 11, 2014
Westlake scored the lone goal to help Canada to a perfect preliminary round.
2014 PARA: CAN 4 – NOR 0 (Preliminary)
Mar 09, 2014
Adam Dixon scored twice to lead Canada to its second straight win in Sochi.
2014 PARA: CAN 10 – SWE 1 (Preliminary)
Mar 08, 2014
Gale, Dixon and Rempel had four points each to lead Canada to a win.
2014 PARA: Welcome to Sochi
Mar 02, 2014
Canada’s National Sledge Team has arrived ahead of the Paralympics.
2010 OLYW: Flag Raising
Feb 10, 2010
Canada's National Women's Team taking part in the Flag Raising ceremony at the Olympic Village in Vancouver, B.C.
Schedule
Close
Credit  
Close
Photo Credit: