January 3rd, 2012 – World Juniors Semifinal | Final Score: Russia 6 – Canada 5
Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary, Alberta.
Well, well. If you did not get a chance to see Russia and the Canadian Junior squads give us one of the most entertaining, frustrating, diving, throat punching, goalie changing, spearing, post hitting game in World Juniors history last night, you can simply watch the highlights below. Yeah, no big deal. Three hours of insane hockey is all wrapped up for you in 8 minutes. Compliments of NHL.com. Enjoy.
In the meantime, I’ll just quickly say, for a bunch of teenagers wearing their country sweaters playing in one of the biggest games of their young careers, you had to be impressed in some way, when it was all said and done. The game could only be enjoyed by a true hockey fan. The casual or non-hockey fan would have been lost watching all that craziness in Calgary last night.
So, quickly, minus the questionable officiating during the game, the diving, the cheap shots, the 5-1 blowout that made you want to change the channel only to find out there was a comeback of “epic proportions” in the making, the pulling of the goalies, the ongoing question of “is it really fair that the tourney is always a home tourney for the Canadian team” and that the same six nations play each other in the final rounds every year, when it’s over, it all ends the same way. The team with the most goals before the clock runs out wins. And that is simply what the Russian kids did. They scored more goals and they won.
No matter how close the young fellas from Canada came in the end, it didn’t matter. Yeah, they outshot the Russians 56-24, yeah, they found a way with a sold out crowd behind them, in their own country, to score 4 goals with 12 minutes to play against an equally young, traveled halfway across the world Russian team and a traumatized goaltender that had no defense helping him out at all during the game. But they didn’t score more goals than the Russians. They scored no more goals against the backup goalie that came in after and they scored no more goals with the extra man with less than 2 minutes to play. Sorry but your comeback attempt, though exciting as it was, does not get you a win or a chance at a Gold medal. It gets you a round of applause and a “hey, thanks for coming.”
Cheers to the Russians for playing good enough to score more goals than the Canadians. It won’t mean anything though if they do not do the same thing on Thursday against the Swedes.
Paul C. Cuthbert
Hockey This Week
Follow Paul on Twitter @PCuthbert_HTW