Tuesday, January 5, 2010

USA- Canada...For All The Marbles Tonight

Hockey fans watching the World Junior Championship get treated to a do-over of what was the tournament's best hockey game: Team Canada's 5-4 shootout win over USA after the Americans blew a late 4-2 lead.

Canada is the deeper, more talented team. USA aside, they steamrolled their competition, beating Latvia 16-0 and not giving up more than 1 goal in any other game.

Oh, and did I mention that they are going for a sixth consecutive gold medal, not having failed to capture championship honors since Mark Stuart and the Americans beat Canada with a late rally in 2004 (Al Montoya wherefore art thou?).

On paper, USA gives a lot away to Canada, and this could be a letdown. But, in all honesty- the Americans stunned their counterparts north of the border, and very nearly pulled off the upset during the round robin.

Team USA believes it can win...and will need a tremendous performance in net from Mike Lee to do it. But, you really have to give credit to role players like Jerry D'Amigo and Tyler Johnson, who have picked up the offensive slack in the last two games against Sweden and Finland.

Let's all hope for a great hockey game tonight. Canada's at home and enjoys a huge home ice advantage. But, the upstart Americans put a scare into them on New Year's Eve. You can bet that Canada will be better with Calvin de Haan in the lineup, so it will all come down to 60 minutes for all the glory.

Puck drops at about 8:05 pm ET tonight.

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