Wednesday, January 07, 2009

An Ode to the World Juniors

When I was a young child, I know that makes me sound old, I could not wait to for my friend, who lived in back of me to give me the Hockey News during this time of the year so I could see what happened in the World Junior Hockey Champions. For years the tournament was hided from the American sporting public, but not this year.

The NHL Network showed the tournament and it may have reignited my love for the game that is played on a frozen pond.

In the end the Canadians showed why they have won five straight, they were the best team. The atmosphere in Ottawa was amazing, from the New Years Eve showed with the Americans to the final against Sweden, the crowd never stopped. They made the 19,000 seat area sound like a small college gym. Sometimes it made the hair on the back of you neck stand up. Canadian fans view the World Junior as their March Madness and that showed.

In addition to the atmosphere, there were the players. From John Tavares single handed taking over the New Years Eve clash against the Americans, to the fun loving P.K. Subban (picture right), to the giant Chris Pronger look alike Tyler Myers, the steadiness of the Sweds Mike Backlund and Erik Karlsson, to the power of American James van Riemsdyk. The players were the stars of the show. Some people view it as a step down from the NHL but the skills that were on display during the last 10 days were amazing.

In know somewhere up in sky that my friend is looking down smiling know that the tournament that we tried to follow, during the age before Internet was around, now has a home. Hey I can not wait till the puck drops in Saskatoon and Regina next year.

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