After two games where people were questioning the legitimacy of him in goal, Malcolm Subban shut up the critics with a fantastic performance against the United States. Stopping 36 of 37 shots, Subban was the clear player of the game for Canada, especially once the score was 2-0 and Canada was content to sit back.
Canada scored twice in the first period, with their two best offensive forces in the tournament getting the job done. Both Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ryan Strome have scored in every game for Canada.
Despite the win, large parts of the game were completely dominated by the Americans. Canada sat back for large periods, and when afforded chances to increase the score with powerplays they were too conservative to get anything done.
Part of that was also due to the poor play of Dougie Hamilton and Ryan Murphy, who just couldn't get anything done offensively, yet coach Steve Spott didn't bother to give Morgan Rielly more time there, even though he was playing much better.
Speaking of curious decisions with ice time, Alex Galchenyuk has unequivocally been the best American forward, yet he gets barely any ice time. He's been in on 50% of the USA's goals, and the last two straight goals have been Jacob Trouba shots off of Galchenyuk set ups.
The USA typically relies on NCAA products for the World Juniors, and that could be why Galchenyuk isn't being relied on as much, but that would be quite foolish.
The USA is back at it tomorrow morning at 5:00AM EST against Slovakia, a must win game if they want to make it out of the round robin. We'll have the game thread up for you guys.
Canada faces Russia in the now famous New Years Eve game tomorrow at 9:00AM EST. The game will decide first place in the group, and who gets a bye past the first playoff round.