World Juniors: USA Makes Uncle Sam a Happy Fan at
Pool play in most international tournaments is all about positioning for the brackets.
But beating a heated rival is still a satisfying feeling.
And right now, at this year's World Junior Championships in Finland, Team USA is rather pleased with itself.
No love lost, whatsoever.
No emotion spared, either, youth tourney or no:
We didn’t get enough shots through ... We’re trying to make too good a pass or too good a play.
They may get their chance to make amends somewhere in bracket play, which begins on New Year's Day.
Meanwhile, Team USA doesn't have much time to savor the victory. They're up against the Tre Kronor on Mon 28 Dec, who won't have their standout -- and cherished Toronto Maple Leaf property -- William Nylander available. Dude got jacked from behind in Sweden's 8-3 rout of Switzerland.
Still, Sweden has sufficient firepower throughout its lineup, as it always does.
Meanwhile, the Americans have Auston Matthews -- currently playing in Switzerland -- who may well be the NHL's top overall draft pick next spring:
If the USA can continue its winning ways in the preliminaries, there's every chance of the next meeting with Canada being a medal game. If so, odds are these neighbors will add to their edgy lore: