It may not be a big impact of a tournament, but hockey fans all across the globe have met in the beautiful Buffalo, New York to see the World Juniors hockey tournament between some of the worlds best hockey prospects that are representing their country. There are many countries competing, but the big-named countries, such as Canada, the USA, Sweden, Russia, and Finland are the ones that really take the spot light, especially Canada. This year was a special tournament as it even managed to get it’s own outdoor game.
With some teams being heavily favored or heavily stacked with amazing players, some teams sadly weren’t able to keep up with the tough competition. The head coach of Switzerland’s team, Christian Wohlwend, even stated that their team didn’t even stand a chance against Canada, and that “we don’t have better players; these are the best we have,” before their elimination game against Canada, to which they lost 8-2.
By the second round, the real competition was set in as Canada was set to face the Czechs and the USA was set to face Sweden. Canada was clearly the offensive dominator in this tournament as they crushed the Czechs 7-2, which led them on the path to the gold medal game. The game between the Swedes and the US was much closer, but Sweden would win 4-2 with beautiful goals coming from some of the top prospects such as Lias Andersson. The gold medal game was set.
The game would be tied or close for more than half of the game, but Canada’s Tyler Steenbergen redirected a shot from the point which gave Canada the lead very late in the 3rd period. The Swedes fought hard, but couldn’t score and would have to settle for the Silver medal and watch Canada take the Gold medal. When given their medals, team Sweden captain Lias Andersson took off is medal and tossed it into the stands which some saw as a sign of utter disrespect and others saw his passion for the game as he was seen sobbing after the game. When asked about it after the game, he stated, “I have a silver medal from the last time we lost and I haven’t looked at it in years…”
The MVP of the tournament was from team USA Casey Mittelstadt who displayed some nice dangle moves and some awesome goals and scored a total of 11 points. The top defenseman in the tourney also happens to be the top projected prospect in this year’s draft, Rasmus Dahlin. At this point in the year, it appears to be the Arizona Coyotes who will be selecting the Dahlin, but the lottery has yet to take place so any non-playoff team has a chance at acquiring him. USA forward Kieffer Bellows set a new record with 9 goals which was previously set by Jeremy Roenick.
Another special game in this year’s tournament was the top rival game between Canada and the USA. This game was so big that it even got it’s own outdoor game. The USA would take it 4-3 in a shootout.
Another World Juniors in the record books, who will take it next year?
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