Wednesday, January 02, 2008

What a Difference...

Lost in the shadow of the World Junior tournament, where incidentally, the US is off to a great start, undefeated and about to play Canada for a shot at the gold medal, is another international hockey event; the World U17 Hockey Challenge.

There was one particular match-up in the tournament that drew my attention, and that was the game between the United States and Russia. The game was a rematch from the championship game from last November's Four Nations Cup, in which the Russians won 2-1, and was marred by an ugly fight at the end of the game. You may also remember from that game, the Russians, who hosted that event, received 12 powerplays, scoring on two them, while the US only received 2 powerplays.

The game played on neutral soil had quite a different result. The US had a dominating 6-2 victory over the Russians. The US jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and was able to coast to victory.

In what I'm sure was a coincidence, the penalties were also markedly different from the first meeting. The US committed 13 penalties, but the Russians were found guilty of infractions 16 times.

For what it's worth, 29 penalties may seem like a lot, but referee Ben Buxton also called 27 penalties in a game between Finland and Quebec earlier in the tournament, though three of those penalties were handed out when Quebec coach Danny Dupont requested stick measurements on Finnish players(he was right on two of them).

The US finished 3-1-0 in preliminary round play, and earned a spot in the semifinals where they will play either Finland or Canada Pacific. The US team last to Canada Pacific in a shootout in an exhibition game prior to the tournament.


Anonymous said...

Oh yeah . . the russkies are our Bitches!

Anonymous said...

Way to kisk ass USA! I'll bet the MN kids are responsible! bring a medal home!

Anonymous said...

No, but I hear Don Lucia is taking credit

Anonymous said...

playing against 5 Regional Canadian Teams, that came together a day before the tournament started?..they should win

Anonymous said...

Not exactly, biggest 17 age tourney of the year, Russia, Finland, Germany and Canadians.
Check it out at
USA has medaled in early 2000's.
Sounds like a ND comment.