Before I talk about Canada’s upcoming Gold medal game, I have to share this video, if nothing else it will make you laugh. It combines my love of polar bears & hockey…..
Today legions of hockey fans across North America are prepping for the Canada vs. USA hockey game. This game pits the best junior hockey players in North America against each other in the battle for bragging rights of North American hockey supremacy in the International Ice Hockey Federation annual international tournament.
There are 10 teams in the tournament with two divisions, Pool A & Pool B.
Pool A consists of Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Finland.
Pool B consists of United States, Canada, Russian, Slovakia, and Latvia.
The road to the to medal rounds, with the winners from each pool advancing looks like this:
The puck drops tonight at 7:00 PM in Montreal at the Bell Centre. Earlier in the tournament, the Americans pounced on power play opportunities to beat the Canadians 3-1 and take the lead in their pool. Yesterday, the young Canadian team been Sweden to earn a place in the gold medal game today.
Two years ago I posted this as my Canadian hockey prayer,
In 2010 in Saskatoon, I remember being so very disappointed when the US beat Canada 6-5 in overtime. However, my #CanadianPrayer did not fall on deaf ears. Our boys beat the Russian team 5- 4 with Connor McDavid, Max Domi, Anthony Duclair and Nick Paul all becoming Canadian hockey heroes to young players across Canada.
This is the team we have playing for Canadian in the 2016 edition of the World Junior Championships,
Tonight’s game is no different. The names on the Team Canada roster is comprised of young hopeful players, who have spent most of their lives training and practicing for this exact moment in time. After the tournament, many will go on to play professional hockey and have the opportunity to represent Canada on the Olympic stage. The question is, which Canadian team players will help bring home the gold medal tonight?
As an interesting side note and considering my son is now planning on being a goalie, Team Canada’s goalie Carter Hart Canada has TOI (Time on Ice) of 171:55, a GA (Goals Against) 0f 5 , a GAA (Goals Against Average) of 1.75 and a Sv% (Save Percent ) of 92.86, second overall in tournament play. Our scoring leader has been the very consistent Dylan Strome who has earned 10 points this tournament and is tied for third place with Clayton Keller from the USA.
These players have many pressures placed on them including; the high level of excellence that is expected from the coaches, managers and staff of Hockey Canada; the parents and family members who have made monetary and personal sacrifices so these young players could achieve this high level of play; and the hopes of every Canadian hockey fan who has donned a Team Canada jersey lay on the shoulders of this team.
Tonight’s hockey prayer will be no different tonight than it was in 2015.
“Please send our players to vision to know where the puck will be going, the ability to find the blind spots, the passing skills needed to make the unbelievable cross-ice pass, and our goalie the superpower of seeing the redirection of the puck before it happens.”
A quick thank you, to the many sponsors of this tournament that make it possible for our players to compete, including Esso, Nike, Telus, TSN and especially RBC who sent my son and I, to a preliminary game in Ottawa.