As soon as practice ended, Tavares ditched the Team USA jersey he was forced to wear as a result of a lost bet to captain Doug Weight.

"Being Canadian, this was one of the toughest days to go through," Tavares said. "But I lost a bet to Doug and I had to honor it, but I'm fully confident that Canada will bring home gold next year."

Besides the playful ribbing from his teammates, Tavares likely practiced with a load off his shoulders today after scoring his first goal in ten games last night.

"It felt good," Tavares said. " It was only a matter of time, Hopefully this keeps going and leads into a good stretch."

As for the slump itself, Tavares said he can take some positives away from the drought since he worked very hard to improve other areas of his game when his production fell off.

"You learn to handle it when things don't go your way," Tavares said.

Now that he is back on track, Tavares said he's looking forward to keeping it that way.

"I want to contribute consistently each night. I want to score goals, but be responsible in all areas," Tavares said. "Hopefully I can keep doing what I'm doing."

Coincidentally, last night was the first game  since his minor hockey days that Tavares' mother Barb didn't get to watch on TV because she was taking his sister on a college visit.

She heard the good news, however, and Tavares' received a steady stream of text messages from her as a result.

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