It looks like I was wrong about this game being an instant classic. The US scored three times in the first period to jump out to an early lead, and cruised to an easy 5-0 victory over Canada in the World U18 Championships. The win guarantees the US a spot in the quarterfinals.
The US has one game remaining in pool play against weak sister Belarus, who has been blown out of both games so far in this tournament. The game appears to be meaningless since the US has clinched a spot in the quarterfinals, and I don't believe they can earn the top spot in the group and a bye to the semifinals.It might be a nice chance to get goalie Jack Campbell a little rest since the US will have to win three games in the medal round in order to get the gold.
Despite the opening game hiccup, it seems like the US has played pretty well. What's impressive about this team is just how deep it is. They seem to be getting from everyone rather than just one or two lines.
Things look incredibly grim for Canada, meanwhile. They have to hope that Belarus manages to pull off an upset against Switzerland tomorrow, or they will finish fourth in the group and forced to play in the relegation round for the right to play in next year's tournament, rather than playing for a medal in this tournament. Even with a Belarus miracle upset, I believe they would then have to defeat Sweden on Sunday to advance, which doesn't seem likely since Canada lost to a Swiss team that Sweden just clobbered 10-2.