By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
Canada's defeat in the Quarterfinals at the World Junior Hockey Tournament is being viewed & dissected on every level; so here's my take.
There's no question that I wish Canada was playing in the semifinal game at Vancouver against Switzerland today rather than Finland.
My wish is based less on my nationality and more so on the utter disappointment that 2 players on the Owen Sound Attack, Markus Phillips & Nick Suzuki, must be feeling
I can assure you that everybody in the Attack organization is overjoyed that Phillips and Suzuki are scheduled to rejoin the Owen Sound club tonight for their game at Kitchener and for the game tomorrow against North Bay.
But how do you phrase that joy ?.......' Great to see you, .....but I wish you weren't here ? '
I keep flashing back to last year when Jonah Gadjovich & his Gold Medal returned to the Attack for a game at Oshawa- no amount of cleanser was going to wipe the smile off his face as he entered the building.
For Phillips and Suzuki, I have no doubt they'll be few smiles knowing their best wasn't good enough to get to the Final 4, in what really was their one & only opportunity to play out the Canadian teen hockey player's dream.
Next, the margin here is so tiny. If, and it's a very big IF, if Canada beat Russia on Monday night would be having this discussion ? Likely not.
And to a large extent that's what makes this tournament so great now.
A one goal game victory against Switzerland.
A one goal game defeat against Russia.
& then a heartbreaking one goal overtime loss to Finland.
Unfortunately, Canada and the Attack connection won't win Gold in 2019, but the tournament itself and Junior Hockey on the international level is a big winner.
I'm Fred Wallace