A USA vs Canada Outdoor Game Is Very Likely At The 2018 World Juniors In Buffalo
TSN – When USA Hockey officially names Buffalo host of the 2018 World Junior Championship on Friday, an outdoor game pitting Canada against the United States at Ralph Wilson Stadium will also be announced, according to sources.
Organizers expect a sold-out crowd of more than 71,000 fans for a late December, 2017, clash between the best Under-20 players from both sides of the border, making for the largest single game crowd ever to watch a junior hockey game.
Attendance from that one game alone will be nearly half of the total tournament gate from both 2014 in Sweden (144,268) or 2013 in Russia (110,175).
Let me tell you something right now. This is some straight up bullshit. Not that the 2018 World Junior Championships in Buffalo will have an outdoor game at Ralph Wilson Stadium. But that USA Hockey put this out there on December 3rd, 2015 thinking that now we can just wait 2 full years for this game to happen instead of being able to watch Auston Matthews absolutely obliterate some dirty stinkin’ Canucks outdoors this year. My guess is that the game will take place on December 30, 2017 so now all we’re left doing is waiting around with our dicks in our hands. But make no mistake about it, this game is going to be awesome.
I feel like the WJC is one of the most underrated events of the hockey season. Year in and year out, you get a sneak preview of the next generations of superstars that are going to take over the game. Think of any superstar in the league right now and I’d say 99% of them played in this tournament at some point or another. So now not only will you get to see the future of USA hockey take on the future of Canadian hockey, but they’ll be taking it outside to make the game all the more memorable. And I don’t quite know when it became “cool” to hate on outdoor games. Maybe it’s because the Stadium Series have kind of gone overboard a little. But the outdoor games are incredible. The scene, the way the game is played, the nostalgia, the overall atmosphere. If you didn’t love the Winter Classic in Buffalo in 2008 then you’re a fool. It’s all enjoyable to watch as a fan so you’ve got patriotism, you’ve got outdoor hockey, and you’ve got the future of the sport all combined into one event. Couldn’t ask for anything more. Especially if the NHL decides to just roll with this and put the Winter Classic in Buffalo on New Years Day 2018 for the 10 year anniversary and have the Sabres vs McDavid and the Oilers. Both players will be in their 3rd season and most likely dominating the sport by that point. Let’s make it happen.
As for the World Juniors tournament this year that starts up in a couple of weeks in Helsinki, I think Team USA obviously has the starpower to win the gold. You’ve got next summer’s #1 overall draft pick in Auston Matthews. You’ve got 3 of the top 4 scorers in the OHL this season in Alex DeBrincat, Christian Dvorak and Matthew Tkachuk. And then you’ve got guys who have been there and excelled before in Sonny Milano and Alex Tuch. There may not be a stud #1 goaltender in the net, but it’s still gonna be pretty tough to stop that lineup.
Jerseys I’d like to see Team USA go with in the outdoor game.