Compared to our views yesterday, the USA’s fates have completely turned. Not only on the scoreboard, but in the Pool of Death as well, as Russia skated to a 2-1 victory over Team USA today in Ufa, Russia.
This morning’s game (evening in Russia) matched a US squad that had our hopes very high for the World Junior Championship, and Russia was coming in with a little trepidation. Russia needed overtime to be Slovakia in their tournament opener on Wednesday, and had lost one of their players to suspension on a viscious and dirty cross check late in that game. The host country needed the 3 points they earned today, and they did it much as we would expect the Americans to do so: with gritty defense and outstanding goaltending.