It's rare that a Canadian national hockey team can feel good after a loss at any level. But the U-18's definitely have that right after what we saw from them yesterday.
Jesse Wallin's crew battled hard but came up just short in a 5-3 loss to the heavily favoured Americans in Brno, Czech Republic.
Yes, it was a loss. But as Wallin told the Canadian Press he feels his squad is more than ready for the medal round.
“We grew as a team today and that's what we had to do,'' he said. “We have to be that much better for our next game. We can't hang our heads, we can't feel sorry for ourselves. We just have to keep getting better, keep plugging away and stay the course here.''
Mathew Dumba had another eventful game at both ends of the rink.
On the good side, Dumba netted a goal and an assist for the fourth straight game (earning him player of the games honours for Canada). He now leads all skaters at the tournament with eight points. On the bad side, he was on for two more goals against (albeit one was a powerplay goal by the Americans) in another perfect showcase for Dumba's high risk, high reward style of play.
And what a nice addition Hunter Shinkaruk has been to Canada's roster. He was a late arrival once Medicine Hat was knocked out of the WHL playoffs, but he was solid yesterday in netting a goal and an assist of his own versus the Americans. Brandon Wheat Kings blueliner Ryan Pulock also scored for Canada meaning all three goals in yesterday's game came from Western Hockey Leaguers!
Canada will now hit the ice for quarter-finals action tomorrow (Thursday) versus Russia.
Once upon a time, there was a time when the name "Raffi" brought to mind warm thoughts of a beloved children's entertainer known for such classics as "Baby Beluga" and "Down By The Bay."
Sadly, Raffi Torres has ruined that for me.
With yet another predatorial hit last night, this time on Chicago's Marian Hossa, the Phoenix Coyotes winger enraged hockey fans yet again. Ironically, the hit came one later to the exact day after Torres (while with Vancouver) nailed Blackhawks defenceman Brent Seabrook with a high hit.
I don't have enough time or desire to re-type Torres' full list of transgressions but safe to say he's done it way too often.
Bottom line... if Sherriff Brendan Shanahan does not do us all a favour and throw the book at him then he himself should perhaps given the boot. Mind you, Shanny has been quite a busy man over the past week or so. He's already dished out more suspensions in the first round than we saw during all of last year's playoffs. Intensity is one thing. But players are crossing the line and not just by a little bit.
Next year at this time the Bentley Generals will be hosting the 2013 Allan Cup right here in Red Deer. The 2012 AC is on right now in Lloydminster. Today marks day three of round-robin action. Check out www.allancup.ca for all the latest.