With the annual conclusion of the World Junior hockey tournament, the following day there is a heavy dose of bragging rights that go to the winning country.
The United States overtime victory against Canada gave Joe Pavelski
and Jed Ortmeyer the flag waving rights for the next year, or at least until February when the Olympics stage will overshadow the World Junior tournament.
The two were a little subtle with their jabs instead of completely tormenting their teammates.
“They all know,” said a smiling Pavelski.
“I asked the Canadian guys if they were o.k.” said Ortmeyer.
There tends to be a little honor among friends with regards to the international events and this event was no different.
“I’ve got some things coming,” said Pavelski.
“I gave him odds and everything,” said Ryane Clowe
. “I thought it was going to be déjà vu (Canada won the previous game in a thriller). I don’t understand the four-on-four in a game like that. The finals should be five on five.”
The duo had some good natured fun while the game was going on.
“We texted back and forth,” said Clowe.
Pavelski had a few players over to watch the game and they all agreed it was worth the time in front of the television.
“Manny and Staubie came over and we got a little food and watched it,” said Pavelski. “It was a tremendous game. Just like the first one.”
Ortmeyer completely forgot the contest was on television but got lucky with his dining location.
“I forgot about it and went to dinner,” said Ortmeyer. “The TV was on and it was 5-3 when we ordered our food. Then I looked up and it was 5-5. I could see from the restaurant the celebration.”
The win marks the second World Junior championship for Team USA in the last six years and demonstrates just how far the country has come on the international stage. Canada will always be a world power, but it wasn’t long ago that the United States wasn’t even on the same page. Now they can compete and occasionally take home the title.
“It’s exciting to see the U.S. win,” said Pavelski. “It means the sport is growing. More kids are playing and the kids are developing at a faster pace.”
“There have been major strides in the U.S.,” said Ortmeyer. “You see kids form California, Texas and Nebraska.”
Forward Scott Nichol had an interesting take on the game as he watched it with his family, which includes a wife and three kids who are Americans.
“Our six-year-old was fired up,” said Nichol. “He’s competitive with dad. He made a sign that said ‘Go U.S.A.,’” laughed Nichol. “We missed about 10 minutes getting ready for bed, then came back and watched the overtime. Everyone in the house is American except me so it was a big deal.”
Now the pressure for the Americans will be to win in Vancouver.
“I’ve gotten a few texts saying we’ve got to do two now,” said Pavelski.
The Sharks will host St. Louis Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at ticketmaster.com. The contest will be on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.