Winning bronze at the world championship was 'awesome,' Lightning's Nate Thompson says

Lightning center Nate Thompson collides with Montreal Canadiens center David Desharnais during a game in March.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Lightning center Nate Thompson collides with Montreal Canadiens center David Desharnais during a game in March.

Lightning center Nate Thompson called winning a bronze medal with the United States at the world championship "a once in a lifetime experience I will never forget."

Thompson, 28, had a goal, three points and was plus-1 in 10 games at the tournament in Sweden and Finland. He was an alternate captain and played with Tampa Bay teammates Matt Carle (also an alternate captain) and Ben Bishop.

It was Thompson's second world championship and first medal.

"It was awesome," Thompson said of earning the bronze. "With the group of guys we had an how young we were, I don't think anyone would have picked us to do that. We had a pretty resilient group. The way we won it, definitely a once in a lifetime experience I will never forget."

The United States took the bronze with a 3-2 win over Finland in what was, basically, a consolation game. The United States lost the chance to play for gold when it fell 3-0 to Switzerland, which then lost to Sweden in the gold-medal game.

The signature game for Thompson, though, was the 8-3 victory over Russia in the first round of medal play, a nice payback after Russia's 5-3 victory over the United States in the preliminary round.

"Beating Russia, and the way we beat them is definitely something I'll never forget," Thompson said. "For us to come together, especially after losing to them, and playing a complete game like we did, it was a lot of fun."

With a little bit of work done in advance of the 2013-14 NHL season.

"The style of play is completely different," Thompson said, citing the larger international ice surface, "but it can only help you. There are a lot more plays to be made out there. You're not really dumping and chasing as much. It's a lot more puck possession. Whenever you can play that kind of game, I think it can only help you. It improves your game with the puck."

Thompson's next order of business is his July 19 marriage to Cristin Stuart and their honeymoon in Italy.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 3:26pm]

    

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