Tonight is the 2017 World Junior Championship gold medal game, pitting ancient rivals Canada and the United States in a vicious battle one country will be talking about for years and the other will barely remember moments after its conclusion.
For Islanders fans, the colors probably aren’t as important as two of the guys wearing them. Kieffer Bellows hasn’t made much noise in the tournament for the US (just one assist in six games), but the 2015 first round pick is part of a talented Boston University contingent that makes up nearly half the damn team’s roster. Others include Long Island product and Bruins pick Charlie McAvoy, Coyotes pick and leading scorer Clayton Keller and defenseman Jordan Greenway, a Wild pick.
Meanwhile, Mathew Barzal has wowed spectators even if the points haven’t necessarily been piling up. Three goals and four assists in six games is cool, but he also leads Canada in shots and time on ice and for the second consecutive year is in the running for top player of the tournament honors.
Top 3 players in the tournament for Canada as selected by the coaches: Matt Barzal (NYI), Thomas Chabot (OTT), Anthony Cirelli (TBL).— (((Corey Pronman))) (@coreypronman) January 5, 2017
Indeed. No other Canadian asides from Barzal been named a top 3 team player (award started in 2007) in 2 World Juniors per @eliteprospects https://t.co/wsqW9sbhli— (((Corey Pronman))) (@coreypronman) January 5, 2017
Good luck, guys. And for god’s sake, DON’T GET HURT.
The game is at 8 pm tonight and as a bone to fans of teams looking for any morsel of of information regarding their team’s prospects, it can be streamed on NHL.com. You can also watch on TSN or NHL Network on a television if you want to be all 20th century about it.
Sweden and Russia played for the bronze medal, but there were no Islanders on either team so who cares.