Noesen learning to live with world junior suspension

Noesen learning to live with world junior suspension
PLYMOUTH, MI, OCT. 6, 2012: Senators draft pick Stefan Noesen plays for Plymouth Whalers vs. Niagara Ice Dogs (Rena Laverty/Plymouth Whalers)

Stefan Noesen can get past the disappointment and frustration and is able to put his suspension from the world junior hockey championships in perspective.

“It’s 75 degrees right now and I’m walking around in shorts and sandals,” the Plymouth Whalers winger and Ottawa Senators prospect said Tuesday in a telephone interview from his home in Plano, Texas. “When you compare that to minus 40 (in Ufa, Russia), it’s not all bad.”

Noesen, selected 21st overall by the Senators in the 2011 entry draft, was expected to be one of the most dangerous scoring threats for the United States at the world juniors.

But after receiving a 10-game suspension from the Ontario Hockey League for injuring Tyler Hore of the Oshawa Generals in a charging incident on Dec. 8, he knew his chances of playing at the world’s top junior tournament were probably over. He expected the International Ice Hockey Federation to uphold the OHL suspension.

“I was prepared for it, it wasn’t like it was a shock,” he said.

Just the same, making the squad was originally a focal point of his season.

“It was a goal last year and my main goal this year, so it sucks that it won’t be happening.”

Noesen, who has 17 goals and nine assists in 26 games with Plymouth this season, believes the OHL suspension was harsh, but he also knows that the league has taken a hard line on borderline hits in recent years.

“I personally don’t think it was worth 10 games, and a lot of other people don’t agree it was worth 10 games, but there was an injury on the play.”

Noesen is trying to move on from the disappointment and acknowledges that it’s a bit easier given his current surroundings in Texas. There’s slightly less talk about the world junior tournament than there is about the fortunes of the Dallas Cowboys.

Once Noesen returns to Plymouth on Dec. 26 to resume practice with his OHL squad – he can’t play again until Jan.11 – he acknowledges it might hit home a little harder.

“You battle through it,” he said. “I just want USA to beat Canada and all the other countries.”

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