Hockey: USA vs. Canada Tonight at World Juniors

Ryan Maloney@RyanEMaloneyContributor IIDecember 31, 2009

OTTAWA, ON - DECEMBER 30:  Paul Stastny #26 of the Colorado Avalanche carries the puck up ice while being chased by Alex Kovalev #27 of the Ottawa Senators in a game at Scotiabank Place on December 30, 2009 in Ottawa, Canada.  (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)
Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images

If this year's New Year's Eve matchup is half as good as last year's, we're all in for a treat.


The New Year's Eve match tonight brings back memories of last year's Dec. 31 game between the same two teams.
Playing in Ottawa, the U.S. raced to a 3-0 lead before John Tavares led a Canadian comeback with a hat-trick and an eventual 7-4 victory.
The game, considered one of the best round-robin games in tournament history, is also remembered for Dustin Tokarski's point-blank glove save on American Colin Wilson.

At the 2007 tournament, Canada and the USA played a dramatic semi-final game that was extended to a seven-round shootout.
Behind Carey Price's steady goaltending and Jonathan Toews' three shootout markers, Canada captured a 2-1 victory to advance to the gold medal game. The Canadians went on to win the title by beating Russia 4-2.

But go back a little further to 2004, and it was the U.S. who got the better of the Canucks.
Facing a Canadian team that featured Marc-Andre Fleury, Sidney Crosby, Dion Phaneuf, Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Ryan Getzlaf, and Brent Seabrook, the Americans came back from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game in third period.
With less than six minutes to play, a Patrick O'Sullivan shot bounced off Braydon Coburn's skate and past Fleury, who had come out to play the puck.
The goal stood up to give the U.S. their first and only World Junior gold medal in a 4-3 win.