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USA Takes Out Their Frustrations On The Czech Republic, Win Bronze At The 2018 World Juniors

Russia vs United States: Quarterfinal - 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship

Obviously last night sucked. There’s no getting around that and no matter what happens today, the 2018 World Juniors will end up being a disappointment for Team USA. But even though the Americans won’t repeat as Gold medal winners for the first time in team history, they still have the chance to win their 3rd straight medal today. USA won bronze in 2016 with Auston Matthews. They were gold medalists last year. And now they have a chance to make a gold medal sandwich on bronze bread. That’s nothing to turn your nose up at and it’s a huge indicator of where USA Hockey is at. So even though it sucks to play in the losers game today, leaving with bronze is a helluva lot better than leaving this tournament empty handed.

Some things to keep an eye on today: this is going to be a big time game for Spittin’ Chiclets guest Brady Tkachuk, Czech star Filip Zadina and USA defenseman Quinn Hughes. All of them have the potential to be top 10 picks in the draft this June. And for Tkachuk and Zadina especially, this is a tournament that should solidify both of them as top 5 picks. This Zadina kid is an absolute stud and does nothing but pick corners.

So for Tkachuk, Hughes and Zadina, this is the last opportunity for them to really show off on a stage this big before the draft. Unless, of course, any of them end up getting picked up for the Olympics but that’s doubtful at the moment.

The Czechs weren’t expected to medal in the tournament this year and I think for the most part, they’re just happy to make it this far. Especially after getting smoked by Canada last night 7-2, I don’t think they’re going to come into this game that hungry. The Americans, on the other hand, need to be pissed off that they’re not playing in the 8pm game and take it out on a team who has been overachieving all week. The line for this game is pretty steep but I think this is an opportunity for a few guys to have themselves a day and to blow this game open early on.

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One last thing before we get this live blog started. I just want to thank everybody for following along all tournament. This is always my favorite time of the year since we all (minus you Canucks) get to be on the same team for a change. Spend most of the year hating each other because you all root for shitty NHL teams but for a couple weeks of the year, we all get to be Team USA. So that’s a nice little change of pace. Looking forward to doing it all again in a month for the Olympics. And with that being said…

***LIVE BLOG OFFICIALLY ACTIVATED***

1st Period Updates: USA 1, Czech Republic 0

The boys are wearing the 1960 throwback sweaters and Quinn Hughes is playing forward. Should be a helluva day for the US of A. Gotta love Quinn Hughes dangling his own teammate on this zone exit.

And with just 3 seconds to go in the 1st period, Trent Frederic (BOS) breaks up a pass on the penalty kill and finishes the play with a little 5-hole action on Korenar. 1-0 good guys.

2nd Period Updates: USA 7, Czech Republic 0

After scoring shorthanded with just 3 seconds left in the 1st period, Team USA came out to start the 2nd period with this.

Still killing the penalty so that dump in can come from the far blueline without being icing. Then Joey Anderson busts his ass off on the forecheck, gets the puck back, dishes it to Ryan Poehling and it’s in the back of the net. Team USA got scored one twice during the same powerplay last night against the Swedes. Today they scored 2 shorthanded goals of their during the same penalty. How the turn tables.

A couple minutes later it was Brady Tkachuk catching some puck luck and having this one bank off of Joey Anderson’s skates and into the back of the net.

And then it was Trent Frederic getting his 2nd goal of the game to make it 4-0. USA getting all 4 goals in just under a 6-minute span.

And then Kieffer Bellows was awarded a penalty shot, and he used that opportunity to take out yet another water bottle this tournament.

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Just like I said, USA pouring it on here today and taking out some of that frustration of not making it to the gold medal game. 5-0 halfway through the game. That should do it.

Aaaaaand now Trent Frederic completes the hat trick.

5th goal for Team USA in the 2nd period. 6-0 with another period still to play. Kinda feel bad for the Czechs here. Just let them get on their plane back home and let’s skip the 3rd. Game over. Team USA wins bronze and they medal for the 3rd tournament in a row.

And now Kieffer Bellows sets an American record for most goals scored by a player in a single World Juniors with his 9th goal of the tournament.

Just run the clock for the 3rd period. Get everybody out of this game as quickly and as healthy as possible. Don’t need this game to get any more out of hand.

3rd Period Updates: USA 7, Czech Republic 0

I’m just going to take this period off. Congrats to Team USA for winning their 3rd straight medal at the World Juniors. Still disappointed it’s not gold but this’ll have to do. And once again, thank you to everybody for following along all tournament. Love you guys and I mean that.

@BarstoolJordie