The Canadian Junior team captured a win in an undeserving fashion today. I am a fan of the Canadian team (yet I try to instill objectivity), and a full on supporter of the junior program. However, to advance to a world championship final on a shootout is a discredit to the game of ice hockey. Further, to have a shootout where one player can shoot three times in seven rounds is simply stupid. If the objective of the tournament is to provide an opportunity for the best young players in the world to develop in competition, and the objective of the game is for one team to score more goals than the other team than there is no balance in having a shootout to end a tournament semi-final game.
I do not want to put down the efforts of the young athletes, who are still teenagers. They won in the format they were placed in and deserve congratulations for their hard work. The coaching staff made the right decision to use one player over and over if the rules allowed. The fault for this stupid situation rests with the IIHF. Their format took a team game and reduced it to a one skill repetition by a handful of players. If the objective of the tournament and its games is to provide entertainment, well then they filled the bill. I just don’t see that as a very worthwhile objective for hockey at the world junior level.
Best of luck to the juniors in the final, Russia should be a difficult test.