Team Canada Defeats USA 4-1 In WJT Semis

(above) Team Canada took the Americans to the woodshed on Monday night

From: USA

Chris Brown scored the lone goal for Team USA, as the U.S. National Junior team dropped a 4-1 decision to Canada in the semifinal round of the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship before a sellout crowd of 18,690 at HSBC Arena.

The U.S. will play for a medal for the eighth time in nine years when it faces Sweden Wednesday (Jan. 5) at 3:30 p.m. EST in the bronze-medal game.

"Our players are working hard as individuals, but we didn't come together as a team," said Keith Allain, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "We'll have a good practice tomorrow and will prepare to play for bronze on Wednesday" [read entire article].


Twister said...

Wow, what a disappointment. I couldn't wait to sit down and watch this game, eagerly anticipating a hotly-contested, hard-fought, exciting game between two rivals. Instead Team Canada imposed its will, outcompeting and outworking our guys and dominating the game. I should have turned it off after the 1st period and just watched the Orange Bowl.

My guess is the blame can be spread around. Allain and the coaches seemed unprepared and unable to make adjustments during the course of the game, and the players certainly seemed to lack grit, determination, and passion, and seemed content to go through the motions. Bizarre game. It would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall in the lockerroom between periods.

All in all, it's not the end of the world, but this is a big setback for the junior team. It's as if these guys expected to just show up and win, based on reputation and/or last year's result. As we all know it doesn't work that way. I sure hope these guys check their egos at the door tomorrow and come up with a better performance against Sweden.

dggoddard said...

You have to hand it to Canada. A seriously awesome display of hockey skill, speed and physical play without creating penalties.

The key moment was when two Canadians tried to check the USA player into the Canadian bench and when he wouldn't go willingly, they picked him up and threw his ass in there. I think the refs were so intimidated by this bold gesture they didn't call the penalty.

Lesson for future USA coaching candidates; never accept the coaching gig after winning the Gold Medal the year before.

Twister said...

Completely agree. Canada played a near perfect game. I don't think Team USA would have won even if they had brought their "A" game. But I hoped for a more competitive contest.

I think it was Nelson who was chucked into the bench.

msbdu said...

DG, agreed. When I saw the two Canadian players lift the USA player and plop him into their bench, I knew the party was over. They intimidated the USA players the entire game. As one of the announcers pointed out, someone needed to send a message to the Candadians that they weren't going to be pushed around. Where is Paukovich when you need him!

dggoddard said...

BTW, congrats to Drew Shore. They said last night that he had the 4th highest face-off percentage in the Tourney.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Drew Shore, I thought that Drew and Jason were seriously under-utilized throughout the tournament. Especially Jay Z. Buried on the 4th line with Drew getting 2nd PP time.

I could have missed a player, but I was looking at the NCAA season stats, and I'm pretty sure that Shore and Zucker were #1 and #2 in NCAA scoring for players that were on the team.

dggoddard said...

In a short tournament like this players can move up and down the lines very quickly by scoring goals. Since Shore and Zucker only scored one apiece and the US won every game up until the Canada game, we can't really quibble.

The USA team was built like an All-Star team. Every player was a star on their junior/college team.

But at the end of the day its doubtful that there are 22 players anywhere in the United States that could have changed the result of last night's game. The USA got steamrolled by a very motivated opponent.

Hard to know what effect the previous injury had on Zucker's play last night. He didn't seem to be his usual self.

puck swami said...

Canada was so great last night that it was like watching men against boys. Seriously.

I don't blame the USA coaches or players - they were going to get steamrolled no matter what they did.

USA Hockey got their five million from the tourney and they should be happy with that,