I love the Christmas holiday season. Not only because of opening gifts, spending chill time with family and friends. It is also because of the World Hockey Junior Championships. You see hockey is one of my favorite sports ever. I played it when I was younger. My favorite players past and present are the likes such as Wayne Gretzky, Paul Coffey, Pavel Bure, Pavel Datsyuk, and Alexander Ovechkin. I have seen these players play at all levels of their careers, and the World Junior Championships is where many leave their mark.
Each Christmas season, I make sure to catch the World Junior Hockey championships. I think it is one of the most competitive and exciting tournaments to watch all in sports. These young players are representing their country, and trying to bring home the gold. Team Canada has won 15 world junior titles, which is the most of any country since the tournament started in 1977. However, Team Canada hasn’t won a world championship since 2009. They have also failed to medal in the last two world championships. Many will focus on Team Canada needing to bring home a gold medal, and anything less will be a disappointment.
However, we must give credit to other countries for stepping up and making it tough for Team Canada to win the gold over the last 5 years. In 2010, Team Canada lost to an American team that was motivated for revenge after losing in the round robin earlier to us. In 2011, people called Team Canada’s lose in the finals the biggest collapse ever to Russia. I saw it as Russia team who was very resilient all tournament long. In 2012, we lost in the semi-finals and finished with a bronze. In both 2013 and 2014, Team Canada never won a medal.
This year’s world championships will be hosted in Toronto and Montreal. Team Canada will have tough competition to win the gold. Sweden, Finland, Russia and the Americans will be bringing it. It will come down to who plays and executes at the right time of the tournament. I expect with Team Canada playing at home, to have a strong tournament.
Team Canada can medal, and even win the gold. If they win the gold medal, this will be a clean sweep of the hockey tournaments and championships in a year: The Olympic titles for men’s and women’s’ hockey, and World Junior title. I do expect this to be an competitive and exciting tournament. No matter what happens, the 2015 World Junior Hockey Championships will be another year of watching hockey at its purest form.
To all the hockey enthusiasts out there, enjoy the tournament and GO CANADA GO!