Michael DiPietro reflects on IIHF World Championship experience

1 / 3
Michael DiPietro reflects on IIHF World Championship experience

He didn't get a chance to play — but the opportunity to represent his country is something he will never forget.

Windsor Spitfire goalie Michael DiPietro is back from Copenhagen, Denmark where he was the third goalie for Team Canada at the IIHF World Hockey Championship.

DiPietro was never called on to the ice. But he said practicing with the team gave him valuable experience.

"I think it's just adding to my toolbox," said DiPietro. "Different movements as a goaltender you could use. Definitely the mental game."

Lessons in defeat

Canada came home without a medal for the first time in four years after losing to the United States 4-1 in Sunday's bronze-medal game. The tournament was ultimately won by Sweden.

Check out highlights from the bronze medal game of the 2018 IIHF World Championships:

DiPietro was the only Junior A player on the team, which was made up of predominantly NHL players. He said the opportunity to represent Canada was an honour and an "awesome" learning experience.

"I think how you carry yourself on and off the ice as a professional I think is [important] — getting the body, taking care of it correctly and just making sure performance is where it needs to be on a day-to-day basis," said DiPietro.

Looking ahead

DiPietro is returning to the Windsor Spitfires for his fourth season this fall. He remains optimistic about the team's future.

"I think we have a great young group of Spitfires coming in," he said.

The team has announced assistant coach Jerrod Smith has been promoted to associate coach with a two-year contract.

Smith shares DiPietro's optimism about next year's team.

"We created a good culture with a young group last year. We got a little taste of the playoff experience," said Smith, adding he expects to make the playoffs next year, too.