2017 World Juniors Report (Medal Day)

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The Semi-Finals were full of talent creating some of the best games of the tournament when the best teams took on the best teams.

The games were tight and they certainly produced some highlights but nothing fell off for the medals on the final day of the tournament.

On Medal Day the same four teams were in action and the same four teams put on a show for the Montreal crowd.

It started with two teams that had traditionally faltered in the biggest games of the tournament and that didn’t really change this time around.

The Russians couldn’t get past the Americans while the Swedes continued their semi-final woes against the Canadians.

Now both were set to play one last game and were determined not to go home empty-handed trying to win at least a bronze despite the gold medal aspirations.

They both seemed determined as they were in a tight game right until the end with Russia going ahead in the second only to see the Swedes get the equaliser soon after.

Regulation would solve nothing as the Russians entered their second straight overtime game hoping to reverse the result of the last time.

They did just that as the Swedes made a critical mistake at their own blue-line sending Denis Guryanov in by himself and ending the game giving the Russians the bronze.

That win continued a now seven-year medal streak for the Russians while the Swedes have now gone three years without a medal.

In the gold medal game, the benefactors of the two great semi-finals would face-off for the second time in the tournament.

On New Year’s Eve, the Canadians did not look themselves against the Americans and they paid for it with a 3-1 loss that sent them to second place and handed them their first loss.

The Americans were heading in looking to be the spoilers once again as this rivalry has only grown bigger in the Juniors and the Americans love to upset their rivals at home, just the Canadians love to do the same in the USA.

The Canadians came out early in the game when they scored two quick goals in the first period much like what the Americans did in their first game.

Then the Canadians seemed to fall asleep again while the Americans kept their energy up and in the second the USA evened the score.hockey-sidebar

The Canadians once again put themselves ahead in the third period only to see the Americans come right back and tie the game at four.

The third period ended and nothing was resolved as another classic between these two was set to go into overtime for another time.

The overtime period saw the action only continue to ratchet up as both teams were tired leaving plenty of room for chances.

Nobody could put the puck in the net though as both teams finished the overtime period without a goal sending the game into a shootout.

It was only the second time ever that the gold medal game had gone into a shootout and although it may not be everyone’s favourite way to solve a tie it is what these teams needed.

The close game only continued in the shootout as both teams couldn’t find the back of the net until the Americans scored on the fourth shot.

The Canadians couldn’t match them and ended the shootout without a goal as the Americans took home the gold medal for the fourth time ever.

The Canadians came up short at home but it was far better than their performance from a year ago when they finished 6th overall.

It was a medal and although it wasn’t the medal that the home fans wanted they still won a medal at home.

The Americans have been an inconsistent team but they were back on top for another year as they continue to get closer.

Development of the game in the USA is only getting better and the American teams are showing that.

If they can get some more consistency then they will be a team like the Russians and the Canadians where gold is the only option.

The win is a big one for the IIHF as it might not be a team that nobody expected but it does show that the Canadians are not the only team anymore.

With one gold medal in the last eight tournaments, this is no longer a tournament where it is Canada against Russia and then everyone else.

The parity continues in the tournament and with the American win it is just another team that will continue to compete year after year and make this tournament better.

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