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Did Anyone Care About The World Junior Championship In The USA?

from Pat Caputo of the Oakland Press,

It was a seminal hockey moment.

Canadian winger Nicholas Roy moved in on American goalie Tyler Parsons, and attempted a variety of moves. Parsons didn’t budge, standing his ground. The puck eventually just slid off Roy’s stick and meekly into the pads of Parsons, who immediately leapt to his skates, ripped off his mask and raced toward center ice where he was mobbed by teammates.

Didn’t hear about this? Didn’t know Parsons is from Chesterfield Township? Haven’t figured out this was for the gold medal in the World Junior Championships? Ah, don’t really know exactly what the importance of the WJC in the hockey world? You’re not alone. The game was buried on the NHL Network. Hardly anyone, outside of genuinely hardcore fans in this country, noticed.

It’s a big, big deal in Canada, though. The WJC is viewed in Canada similar to the NCAA basketball tournament here, minus the office betting pools.

If the script had been flipped, Parsons, who stoned five straight Canadians in a shootout in Montreal, would have stood as the biggest sports hero in Canada. Yet, even in his home state, Parsons remains relatively unknown.

I’m convinced hockey is the most undervalued and underrated sport in this state, despite Detroit’s nickname, “Hockeytown,’’ and the Red Wings’ recent position among the NHL’s elite.


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink


DocF's avatar

All I can say is that both my wife and I enjoyed all the games we watched.  We were really thrilled when the US team won!.  I am from Michigan, so that is to be expected, but dear wife is from North Carolina and is really only interested in University of North Carolina basketball.  Yah, you betcha we watched and followed and were thrilled, eh!

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 01/11/17 at 06:40 PM ET

The Meal's avatar

It’s a great tournament and one I enjoy every holiday season.  If you intend to pay attention at the NHL draft, it’s great to see some of the (currently unaffiliated) kids playing against their peers.

I wasn’t able to watch as much as I’d like this year (especially considering how it turned out for my squad!) but I was able to tune into parts of both USA/Canada games.

Posted by The Meal from Longmont, CO on 01/11/17 at 07:34 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

Gold Medal game is here

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 01/11/17 at 07:55 PM ET

Steve in San Francisco's avatar

My parents wouldn’t watch an NHL game ever if my brother and/or I don’t put it in front of them (they love NCAA basketball and any kind of football they can find), but they take time to tune in for WJC every year (partially bkz I’m usually at their house when it starts), and they love it. They spent 6 years in Finland a while back, and were truly concerned that the Finnish squad might get relegated.

I watch every minute I can get of the tournament, since it’s likely to be the best hockey I’ll see all year.

Posted by Steve in San Francisco on 01/11/17 at 08:41 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

I watched as much as I could and loved it.  The gold medal game is the best hockey Ive seen all year.  Im considering getting tickets for some games next year in Buffalo.  I hate to waste vacation time to go to Buffalo, but we all have to make sacrifices.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 01/11/17 at 09:04 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

It is continuously darn good hockey each year, especially the elimination games. The nice thing is, there are a number of teams who contend: sweden Finland russia Canada usa - so it’s not always the same team or two winning.

I wish it could get broadcast on espn or nbcsn.

Posted by TreKronor on 01/11/17 at 10:37 PM ET

Alan's avatar

I watched the gold medal game, and only flipped away to occasionally check the score of the Wings game. I also watched at least every contest that involved Team USA before that. I genuinely enjoyed the tournament, as did a number of folks I know who I got to watch the game with me. We loved the WJCs. Whether we rooted for USA or Canada, that gold medal game was truly one for the ages, and it’s a little sad that it had to end in a shootout.

It’s a shame that contests like these are buried on the NHL network. Hockey is a fantastic sport that deserves a bit more front page action. That would mean more channels that exist on a ‘basic’ cable subscription, and a whole lot less of networks that require an additional package be purchased. Given the choice, most casual fans (or people not generally interested) would steer away from an extra charge for a bunch of sports channels they tend to care nothing about.

The NHL claims they want the sport to grow. Part of that could be accomplished by making the sport more easy (and budget-friendly) to access.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 01/12/17 at 08:09 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

The WJC is GREAT hockey. Do you think the NHL can actually learn from watching exciting hockey?
Me neither.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 01/12/17 at 09:19 AM ET


I do my best to watch as much as I can. It’s really entertaining hockey with a lot of skill on display and a good chance to see many players who will be on NHL ice before too long.

It was a shame it had to be decided on a shootout though. There may have been a good deal of excitement during the shootout and, of course, the eventual end but it paled in comparison to the energy during the OT.

I would kill to have such hockey in my area. I am committed to seeing the WJC at some point in person. I’m just waiting for it being hosted at a destination I want to visit as well. I would have done Finland but the timing wasn’t right. Waiting for next European host.

Posted by evileye on 01/12/17 at 12:04 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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