Gaudreau Competes With U.S. Squad At World Junior Championships
By Marly Morgus, Heights Staff
With negotiations stretching on and on, the players and owners of the NHL are on the verge of reaching their own fiscal cliff. Over the past few months, hockey fans have struggled to get their dose of action as the NHL lockout has cancelled more than half of its regular season. If an agreement isn’t reached in the next three weeks, fans, players, coaches and owners can all say goodbye to the second season in nine years. Boston College fans have had slight relief, but with winter break comes a gap in the schedule only filled by BC forward Johnny Gaudreau as he heads off to Ufa, Russia.
Every year, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) holds a tournament for the most promising under-20 hockey players from around the world, giving the Canadians two national holidays on December 26: Boxing Day and the beginning of the IIHF World Junior Championships. Wednesday brought a much-needed hockey fix for those missing the regular season action and gave an opportunity to glimpse into the league’s future.
After being cut at the U.S. camp in 2012, Gaudreau made the American roster for 2013 as the squad competes for a world title in Ufa. The tournament is played out over the course of 10 days, starting with group play then leading into a four round tournament.
The U.S. has traditionally performed strongly in the tournament with its main competitors being Canada, Russia, Sweden, and the Czech Republic. The past three years have shown a tournament win in 2010, a third place finish in 2011, but a disappointing 7th place finish in 2012 that leaves the team ready for redemption.
The team started off strong with an 8-0 shutout over Germany, setting a strong foundation and earning three points in group play. Despite the strong performance, the U.S. fell to Russia 2-1 today. Gaudreau has yet to earn a point in tournament play, something that will have to change if the team hopes to compete in the next few days.
Starved hockey fans can tune into the NHL Network at slightly odd hours in order to find coverage of each of the U.S. games and watch Gaudreau and the other Americans fight their way towards the title game on Jan. 5th.