Today our prime minister, Stephen Harper, visited the Team Canada dressing room at Scotiabank Place, the site of the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championship going on right now in Ottawa, ON. The PM and his son, Ben, wished Team Canada's players well in their upcoming game against Team USA (at 7:30 p.m. EST on New Year's Eve). Surely no one can dispute that Canada is Hockey Nation when our country's leader takes time out of his day to meet with junior players and wish them good luck in this important international competition game.
The PM's visit must have worked because Team Canada won the game 7-4! In all fairness, Team USA came out strong at the start of the game going up 3-0 on Canada, but the Canadians came back to tie the game at 3-3 before the end of the 1st period. The goals went back and forth in the 2nd period with Canada leading 5-4 going into the 3rd. The score stayed the same in the 3rd period until the US coach pulled his goalie to put an extra player on the ice in the hopes of getting the equalizing goal. The Canadians took advantage and potted two empty net goals, winning the last game in Pool A's round robin. With the win, the Canadians move straight into a semi-final game on Saturday. They will play the winner of tomorrow's quarter-final game between Russia or the Czech Republic. The US has to play a quarter-final game against Slovakia tomorrow. The winner will play in a semi-final game against Sweden on Saturday. The winners of the semi-final games will play Monday in the gold medal game, while the losers play earlier in the bronze medal game. Tournament schedule