Let the games begin.
Sure, the IIHF world championship started five days ago, but today’s Canada-United States match-up at the Metro Centre at 4:30 p.m. is the game that everybody has been waiting for.
It’s the first true test for both teams, each of which is coming off lopsided wins over Slovenia and Latvia.
“We’re looking forward to it,” said Canadian centre Ryan Getzlaf. “It’s going to be a big game and it will be nice to get into a few battles and get into this tournament a little bit more.”
The Canada-U.S. rivalry is as intense as any you’ll find in international hockey. Just ask the 22-year-old Getzlaf, who remembers the sting of losing to the stars and stripes in the gold-medal game at the 2004 world junior.
“It sucked. It was brutal. It was one of the worst things I’ve been through, having something so close and having it taken away,” he said. “Those are things you can draw back on.”
Head coach Ken Hitchcock said his squad is still a work in progress heading into its biggest game yet.
“Potential-wise, we’re just scratching the surface,” he said. “We’re gonna have to play better, and we can play better.”