On the last day of the 2013 World Junior Championship, three Columbus Blue Jackets prospects had their eyes on the prize. Three young men entered Ufa Arena, but only one would emerge with hardware.
First up was the bronze medal game between Canada and Russia. It felt like déjà vu all over again for the Canadians, because they won bronze last year in their home country. In only his third game since his suspension, Boone Jenner suited up and tried to help his teammates. He came out of regulation with no goals or assists, but he did have five shots on goal and won 60% of his faceoffs. Perhaps, in his Bad Wolf role, he found the heart of the TARDIS and absorbed the time vortex hoping to save the team in overtime. If he did, it didn’t work, because Russia beat them 6-5 in OT and took home the bronze. My money’s on Malcom Subban reabsorbing the time vortex and regenerating.
It was then time for the gold medal game between the US and Sweden. The Swedes were defending champs, but the American boys were determined to foil their plans for a repeat. Blue Jackets prospect Mike Reilly got one shot on goal, but it was teammates Rocco Grimaldi and Vince Trocheck who propelled the team to their 3-1 win. For the record, Swedish prospect Oscar Dansk wasn’t on the roster for the game.
Congrats to the US team on their win, and good effort by the other teams in Ufa. If their play translates to NHL ice, we’ll be seeing big things from this crop of Blue Jackets prospects.