The World Junior Championship is over. Team USA beat Team Canada 6-5 in OT, winning the gold for the first time since 2004.
I’m not glad that USA won because I was intently following the tournament. I’ve watched a game here and there, and being in school tonight I was only able to catch midway through the third to the end of the final game.
I’m not glad that that USA won because I’m some sort of super patriot. I think overzealous displays of nationalism are borderline embarrassing in this day and age of the “global village.”
I am glad that USA won because it will quell the talk of how the Canadian team was “supposed” to win this year, how it was their “destiny” or whatnot.
But not this time.
Yes, the rest of us get it. Canada invented ice hockey. Canadians make the best hockey players…though the best hockey player in the world right now is Russian. Canada getting a silver medal in a hockey tournament is as unfathomable as USA getting a silver medal in Olympic basketball. But it happens.
Perhaps I’m a little glad about this because it might get more American kids interested in hockey, just like the 1980 Olympics inspired one generation to lace ’em up, while watching Wayne Gretzky play in Los Angeles inspired the next group.
No, a US victory at the WJC probably wont’ have the same effect. But in the end, Canada will up their game and most likely win the gold next year. Then the US, as well as the other countries, will bring it to the next level too.
Then the game of hockey will get even better, and everyone wins.