In what will perhaps be known as The New Miracle On Ice, Canada somehow managed to defeat the US 2-1 today in Ufa, all but shattering whatever hopes the Americans had of being taken seriously just two days after losing to the Russians, who were not in any way favored in this tournament, by the same score.
“I can only speak for every single person in Canada when I say that beating the USA, who we spent months deriding as worse than a hockey team made up of boulders with smiley faces painted on them, is the crowning achievement of our nation. It’s a shame those Americans don’t have our same high priorities on the things that matter: near-point-per-game NHL-led squads winning by an entire goal,” said prime minister Stephen Harper.
Oh yes, it seems that all the so-called experts got this one wrong, and the Canadian team with about five erstwhile NHL-quality players were only outshot and outchanced by the vastly superior American side, with its high-powered top line, but not outscored. The idea of a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins lining up across from JT Miller might seem laughable to some, because of course Miller is widely and rightly regarded as one of the premier young talents in the world, but it was those two who were involved in the first goal. Nugent-Hopkins was able to shake himself loose of Miller’s usually-airtight coverage and fire home an uncharacteristically high-quality shot past John Gibson. Then Seth Jones, who would be in the NHL right now and today if not for the fact that he is not quite draft eligible, got beat to a loose puck by Ryan Strome, who is in no way prepared for the rigors of professional hockey against grown men, which gave the Canadians a 2-0 lead headed into the second period.
Gord Terwilliger told us: “I think it’s pretty clear the US team lost two tight games because no one down there knows how to skate or think.”
Then it became hold-on-for-dear-life time for the lowly Canucks, who couldn’t have possibly ever imagined being up two goals on the mighty, mighty Americans at any point in their lives. No amount of paltry accomplishments being taken in the top-10 at their various NHL entry drafts or winning CHL scoring titles could have prepared them for the assault the US opened on them in the second and third, when all the surprising punch the Canadians brought finally stirred them from their slumber.
But alas, the shambolic Canadian defense and goaltending held stronger than anyone ever thought possible, what with its mere five first-round picks. Try as highly-regarded players such as Jimmy Vesey and Vincent Trochek might, the one goal from Jacob Trouba, who is only good due to his association with a Canadian giant like the Winnipeg Jets, was all the U.S. could muster.
“I’m so happy we beat the U.S.,” Nugent-Hopkins said after the game. “I mean, we didn’t expect to do so at all despite the fact that they are really terrible and bad, and basically we can’t believe it all happened this way.”
Many questions now remain for the Americans, whose towering final opponent, Slovakia, just edged the top-quality German squad 2-1 in overtime. This is a game the US should win because it is the best team in the tournament on paper, but let’s face it, losing to a lunchpail side like Canada probably broke its will.
Meanwhile, the win only bolstered Canadian spirits.
“As you can clearly see Canada is an invincible juggernaut,” said Laurie MacMillan “They proved it when they beat those Americans 2-1, although the Americans aren’t very good at all.”