The World Juniors are coming to town - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Monday, July 7, 2008

The World Juniors are coming to town

It was briefly reported earlier this morning as being "expected" but now it's official: The World Junior Hockey Championship tournament is coming back to Saskatoon.

Saskatoon last held the tournament in '91, back when I was just a young'n who had no idea such a tournament existed. But since 2000 I've been hooked on the tournament as a showcase not only of the best up-and-coming players in hockey, but of the dogged perseverance and spirit of those young players.

These players, in the midst of a grueling junior hockey schedule, give up their Christmas and New Years to put on their country's jersey and fight it out for national pride. They leave their teams mid-season, head out to a quick training camp and are then rocketed across the world, tossed into a hotel and told "You have 1 1/2 weeks to win gold. You have less than that to become a team."

Yes, Canada has a lot invested in this tournament but make no mistake about it, the Russians, Swedes, Czechs, et. al. care deeply about this tournament as well. Nothing immortalizes that more than when, during the high of seeing your country's young players hold up that trophy, you see the camera pan to the losing bench. There you see players hanging their heads in exhaustion with their spirits broken and tears dripping onto the ice.

In 2010, I hope to be front and center watching Canada win the Gold. If not, I might squeeze out a tear or two.


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