Nearly 10 years ago, LA Kings goaltender Jack Campbell was a just teenager with dreams of making the NHL. Months before he would be drafted 11th overall by Dallas, the Michigan native was representing USA Hockey in the annual World Junior Championship.
The "New Year's Eve game" gets brought up whenever the 2010 tournament comes into conversation. Campbell would get the start in goal for USA. Ten years later and he can still recall Jordan Eberle's remarkable play for Team Canada.
"It was just a great game," Campbell reminisced. "It was fun to be a part of, and man that was a crazy tournament. Even with the New Year's Eve game with Eberle scoring a couple."
Canada would go on to win that final preliminary-round game on New Year's Eve against Team USA, 5-4 in a shootout, but the Red, White and Blue squad wasn't finished just yet.
Having only won the tournament once in its 33 years existence, Team USA wasn't a heavy favorite to win. A rematch between Canada and the US would come in the Gold Medal Round in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with Canada feeling the pressure, and support, of its home crowd.
Campbell would take over the net in the second period of the game, going on to stop 32 of 34 shots against. Eberle would score another two goals against the man affectionately nicknamed Soupy.
"He had a pretty good tournament on me," Campbell said. "I remember he got two in the third period of the New Year's Eve game, and then to get two again in the Gold Medal Game.
He was crazy good. That was one of the best World Junior tournaments, probably ever, for anybody. He's got to feel pretty good about that."
Heading into overtime, locked at 5-5, the Gold Medal was up for grabs.
"If you were to tell us at the start of the game that we'd be going into overtime for the Gold Medal, we'd take it," Carlson told the NHL in 2011. "We knew were good enough, we just had to score the next goal. And that's what the biggest part was."
Campbell's huge save on Alex Pietrangelo just 4:12 into the overtime provided a nice rebound to John Ramage, who would eventually slide the puck up to Carlson for a three-on-two break, setting him up for game-winning goal.
"It's funny we just played Carlson in Washington, it's a nice little memory there when he scored the game-winner - how great of a player he is and a lot of the guys on that team," Campbell recalled.
It was a big deal, not just for our squad, but it kind of helped jumpstart a pretty good run for the US there. It's always a special time around World Junior time."
But how impactful winning the Gold mean for USA Hockey?
"Now that it's been almost 10 years, I think it just kind of gave the boys, and the country, a little faith that we could get it done," Campbell said. "It was good. I think USA Hockey has done a great job of developing players and they continue to get better."
USA Hockey would go on to win Gold Medals in 2013 and 2017, medaling in six of the next nine tournaments.
Kings fans in LA might be a little biased to root for Team USA, but with potentially nine Kings prospects making their country's roster, the future is bright and something to cheer for.
Aidan Dudas, F (2018, 4th round, 113th overall)
Akil Thomas, F (2018, 2nd round, 51st overall)
Lukas Parik, G (2019, 3rd round, 87th overall)
Rasmus Kupari, F (2018, 1st round, 20th overall)
Kim Nousiainen, D (2019, 4th round, 119th overall)
Tobias Bjornfot, D (2019, 1st round, 22nd overall)
Samuel Fagemo, F (2019, 2nd round, 50th overall)
Alex Turcotte, F (2019, 1st round, 5th overall)
Arthur Kaliyev, F (2019, 2nd round, 33rd overall)
The 2020 World Junior Championship begins on December 26 in the Czech Republic. Check out the full schedule here.