After a positive start to exhibition play with a 3-2 overtime win over Sweden on Thursday, the United State World Junior team will have to regroup before the tournament begins after being dismantled by a very good Finland team by a score of 5-1. With the game starting at 5:30am CST, I missed the live show, and after the seeing result, I'm not all that eager to catch up on the tape delay, so I don't have a lot to say about the game, but here's a few things I could gather.
- Finland looks pretty good. They beat Canada and dominated the United States in exhibition play. Online bookmaker Bovado had Finland at 10/1 to win the tournament, fifth among the field, and that doesn't look like a terrible long shot bet right now. Then again, nobody looks better in meaningless situations than the Finns. I have a feeling the real tournament will be a different story.
-It wasn't until I was looking up Finland's roster last night and I noticed former St. Cloud recruit Ville Jarvelainen on the roster(Jarvelainen had a meh year with the Green Bay Gamblers last year before returning to Finland to play pro hockey) that I remembered that St. Cloud's Kalle Kossila would have eligible for this team. Maybe they keep winning and I'm the idiot, but after what he's done in the WCHA, he's got to be one of their better available players, no?
-Harvard's Jimmy Vesey, Minnesota's Brady Skjei, and Pat Sieloff sat out today, which means they're probably front-runners to be the odd men out on the final roster. They're about the only guys today was a good scenario for, since it's very possible somebody, or multiple somebodies played their way off the roster with this performance.
-The top line with Rocco Grimaldi, Johnny Gaudreau, and JT MIller didn't produce much today. Hopefully that's just a matter of them finding their feet in their first game, because the US really needs that line to produce.