|Posted by Landon Ewaniuk on December 30, 2012 at 3:40 PM|
I have to admit, I wasn’t as confident as usual that Canada could be the USA in their first meeting at the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championships. Yes, Canada was the highest scoring country in the world junior tournament out-scoring their opponent 15-6 coming into the contest. Considering, the competition was Germany and Slovakia, ( two countries that don't have strong Junior hockey programs), six goals was a lot to give up.
On paper, heading into these 2013 world juniors, team Canada's roster had golden opportunity written all over it. With the NHL Lockout Canada was given more top-end NHL ready players than any other country.
The questions surrounding the team were targeting the goaltending performance of Malcolm Subban and the overall ability of the defensive crop. (The PK was unreal boys) these were two areas that are points of power on the US world Junior hockey team. In order for Canada to win, Malcolm Subban had to be better than American goaltender John Gibson. Gibson was his usual self stopping 30 of 32 shots. However, Subban proved to the country he could be the elite goalie that just might be able to bring home world juniors gold for the first time since 2009.
This game a classic goaltenders duel, Gibson had no chance on the two goals by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ryan Strome; these are two players that would most definitely be in the NHL if not for the on going NHL lockout. That next level skill has shown itself at the World Junior Hockey Championships.
Strome leads the tournament in goals, while Nugent-Hopkins has the most points, these two players will to continue their strong efforts in order for Canada to win the 2013 world juniors.
With this latest 2-1 victory, Canada has beaten the Americans in the last 9 of 10 world junior hockey meetings.As a Canadian hockey fan it always feels special to beat the United States.
However, for me, tomorrow morning is the big showdown of the tournament, Canada versus Russia! As a diehard Edmonton Oilers it will be a joy to watch the latest number one overall draft picks go head-to-head, Nugent-Hopkins VS.Yakupov