(Photo from Reuters)
Good evening, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) fans. If you’re like me, you’ve been watching a boatload of college football over the last several days. My buddy, Jeffrey Fann (@TalkinACCSports on Twitter), has been blogging up a storm at All Sports Discussion (you can follow the site Twitter account at @AllSportsDACC). Jeff wrote about:
- Miami’s loss in the Sun Bowl here (and basically giving the Canes AD kudos for making the right move on a coaching change);
- Duke’s win over Indiana in the Pinstripe Bowl (showing the growth of the Devils football program – taking another step);
- Virginia Tech’s win – even if it wasn’t the most epic performance or Hokies football team – over Tulsa – and sending Frank Beamer out as winner in his last game. This was important to do as Beamer is a legend; and
- Pitt’s loss to Navy, which shows that the Panthers did make improvements in 2015 as a football team – but they have more work to do. My take? Here’s thinking the Panthers have the right guy in Pat Narduzzi to make that next step.
ACC is .500 in it’s bowl game so far – and we’d like to see the conference finish above .500 at the end of bowl season.
In the interim, between football games, we’re dropping a small post here on something of huge interest to me as I was raised in North Dakota (and I love college hockey ) – this was news that was highly underreported nationally due to the holidays and boatloads of college and NFL football:
The USA defeated Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Helsinki, Finland (h/t Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks Hearald – who you can follow on Twitter at @SchlossmanG). Let us repeat that again for emphasis… The USA defeated Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Helsinki, Finland!!
The Americans opened up the World Juniors in style, downing rival Canada 4-2 to take control of their pool in the event, which features the best under-20 players in the world.
While the U.S. has knocked off Canada a couple of times in the medal round recently, this was the first win by the Americans over Canada in pool play since 1998.
Two [University of North Dakota] UND players on the roster—sophomore Nick Schmaltz and freshman Brock Boeser—skated regular shifts for the Americans on Saturday. Boeser was on the ice for two American goals, setting up the screen on one of them. Schmaltz had two shots on goal but was held without a point.
Moorhead’s Will Borgen, a freshman at St. Cloud State, had an assist.
The goals came from Boston College rookie Colin White, Michigan sophomore defenseman Zach Werenski, Miami defenseman Louie Belpedio and Auston Matthews, the Scottsdale, Ariz., product who is playing pro in Switzerland.
This was a significant win as there are several major college hockey players are on the USA national world juniors team. And it has been almost 20 years since the USA defeated Canada in pool play at the World Juniors.
The USA wasn’t so lucky in their next game today as it lost to Sweden 1-0 on an epic performance by goalie, Linus Soderstrom, who had 46 saves on goal. Sometimes that happens in hockey – your goaltender gets hot – and the team that might be the best (the USA) just can’t find the back of the net.
Sweden at 2-0 is in the top spot of the Group A standings, while the U.S. dropped to 1-1 after an opening win against Canada (1-1) on Saturday. This was the first time Sweden defeated the USA at the World Juniors since 1996, ending a 12-game losing streak. The USA next plays Switzerland on Wednesday, while Sweden faces Denmark on Wednesday. Canada plays Switzerland on Tuesday. In short, the USA can still make the medal round. As we said, you sometimes find a goaltender that gets hot – and is the great equalizer.
Please make sure you check out All Sports Discussion tomorrow as we’ll have more ACC coverage for you (after this brief interruption from the World Juniors).