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2023 World Juniors Medal Round RECAP: Canada Reigns again!

All in all...a great medal round. What a tournament.

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Bronze Medal Game: USA and Sweden decide to have the drunkest possible medal game of all time. USA Wins 8-7 in OT


Game Notes:

  • What could you possibly take from a game like this? All the usual stuff just seemed to fly out the window: it was two teams trying to out-mistake each other into medaling at the World Juniors. Crazy stuff.
  • I hope Sweden shows up next year with an entirely different coaching staff. They had no control over their team and certainly no control over their system. They deserved a lot worse.
  • Bruins in this Game: You know the drill. Fabian played, he did something dumb, the coach benched him, he ends the tourney with no points.

Gold Medal Game: Dylan Gauthier scores overtime winner in another classic medal game. Canada wins 3-2 in OT

It looked for all the world like Czechia was out of it, then they were straight in the thick of it...but Canada had the extra juice.


Game Notes:

  • Let me be clear that by commending Canada, I am specifically asking for Canada the group of players to be praised. Hockey Canada should spend every waking second boiling in a vat of oil for what they’ve done. But guys like Connor Bedard are going to make teams extremely happy, and Shane Wright seems like he’s gonna be a pest to deal with once the Kraken ever learn how to play him. So to the players and no one else...congratulations.
  • Man...I really wanted Czechia to win this and they got as close as you possibly can. They made Canada sweat twice in one tournament. That’s just awesome, and they’re gonna be this good again next year. Hang your head high, boys. You played Jako Lev. As Lions. The future for Czech hockey is very bright.
  • Hey Luc? Buddy? This is super not the thing to say while active investigations into impropriety of funds being used to cover up Sexual Assaults among a great deal of other things are going on into a member state. Keep those thoughts inside if you have to have them, you dunce.

Bruins In this Tournament roundup:

Latvia - Dans Locmelis, F

Locmelis was the leading goalscorer for Latvia, and had a great tournament all around. It’s a pity the rest of his team couldn’t find that killer instinct like he did, or we’d be talking about them in a much different context. Excellent tourney for him, have fun in Sweden and the NCAA when you get there!

Sweden - Fabian Lysell, F

Alright. Let’s unpack this.

Lysell had no points, had no goals, got sick, might’ve even been hurt, but he played well all tournament, and he was not rewarded for it, and punctuated his tourney with a dumb misconduct. There are those who are going to look at this and say “BUT RESULTS!!!1!” and let me remind you of something that Sweden showed over the course of the tournament:

They were a team that succeeded in spite of a lot of negatives that had nothing to do with their talent: they were coached by someone who clearly needs to be replaced, and were under both an extremely tight reign and a shockingly loose one? They got close to medaling which is a miracle, but I don’t think we can blame Lysell unilaterally for a bad tournament here.

Also, let’s check in with a guy who has watched waaaay more of Lysell than you have, Mark Divver, to see what he has to say:

So yeah. Let’s keep the doomposting to a minimum and just enjoy that we had, honestly, an exceptional tournament. The local teams for North Americans have their...problems, but we got to see some incredible stuff and it was competitive (well...except for one team) all across the games. I can’t wait until some of this talent filters onto World Championships rosters in the not-too-distant future.

Congratulations to Canada’s Players, and thank you all for another exciting World Junior Championship coverage! We’ll see ya next year in Gothenburg!