The U.S. dominated throughout in their 5-1 crusher of the Canadians in World Junior semi-final action, and if there’s a solid reason why Canada just didn’t show up on this day, I’d like to know why. Was it coaching? Was it nerves, or lack of leadership, or lack of sleep? Whatever it was, the Americans blast through to the gold medal game against the Swedes on Saturday, while Canada and Russia sadly battle it out for the bronze after Russia fell 3-2 in a shootout against Sweden.
Not what Canadians from coast to coast wanted or expected, that’s for sure. Speaking as a Canadian, this is quite an obnoxious turn of events to say the least. We have two things to brag about in the Great White North – world-class comedians, and world-class hockey players. We hate it when the Americans try to put a dent in some of our best stuff.
Damn Yankees. And I say that with respect and admiration, because the U.S. squad was just way too good on this day. They seemed to want it more. Much more. I just don’t understand why. We always want it more. It’s what Canadian hockey players are best known for.
And it’s a tremendously depressing sight to see the number one guy between the pipes get yanked in the second period when it was 4-0 at that point. But no blame can be put on Malcolm Subban, or relief Jordan Binnington, who played well under difficult circumstances, like sitting on the bench from game one on. Maybe Subban didn’t have his best game and be miraculous when the going got tough, but it’s a team game, and the team in front of the two just didn’t show up.
There’s going to be a lot of questions from the Canadian side now. Like, what happened? Almost from the first minute of the first period, the Americans took advantage of Canada’s loose play, with pucks being turned over, missed passes, poor line changes, and ultimately, when Canada did get quality chances, particularly in the third period when Ryan Strome, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Dougie Hamilton all were close in, the U.S. goaltender John Gibson was there like a brick wall.
Can Canada win bronze on Saturday against the Russians? Maybe. But I hate bronze.