The preliminary rounds of the International Ice Hockey Federation World Under 20 Championships are under way and some superb hockey is being played. I highly encourage you to watch some of the games, especially USA and Canada on New Year’s Eve.
Despite all the talented players from around the world, I am drawn to focus on minuscule detail of two games. Sweden beat the Czech Republic 10 – 1 and Canada defeats Latvia 16 – 0. In the wake of all this, the focus is on records being broken and not that of what hockey stands for.
Hockey is a team sport that teaches many things that are not only used on the ice but off the ice as well. Growing up, I remember after every game shaking the hands of the opponent. To this day, I still shake hands with the opponent after the game in my recreational league. Why? Simple; team sportsmanship.
Perhaps I am old school, but you should never defeat a team so badly as Sweden and Canada has done to their opponent. Not only is it disrespectful to the opponent, but disrespectful to the game of hockey itself. It saddens me that any coach would allow their team to do such a thing, and even more saddened, that fans would encourage such things.
Maybe because they are young, maybe because Canada is showing off for their home crowd, maybe Sweden is trying to prove their capability, maybe this or that, either way, I hope both teams are humbled by the end of the tournament.