The United States and Canada meet for the first-ever outdoor game in World Junior Championships history Friday afternoon at New Era Field, the home of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. The two sides will make history with a rematch of the gold medal game from last year’s tournament.
This game has been anticipated ever since the Americans beat the Canadians in a shootout to win their fourth World Juniors gold medal. Team USA rallied from a pair of two-goal deficits — 2-0 in the second period and 4-2 in the third period — before Troy Terry and Tyler Parsons teamed up in the shootout to finish off the victory.
It was one of the most remarkable moments in USA Hockey history, and it’ll surely be fresh on the minds of everyone involved when they suit up for another special game Friday.
Just like a year ago, these are two of the best teams in the field. Canada doesn’t have its usual star power, but a deep team enters this game coming off back-to-back wins, including a 6-0 beatdown of Slovakia. Team USA, which is loaded with past and future NHL first-round picks, looks to rebound from a shocking 3-2 loss at the hands of Slovakia.
While this tournament was long dominated by Canada and the Soviet Union, no country has more WJC gold medals than the U.S. since 2010. Another victory this year would give the Americans their first repeat titles ever and the first back-to-back champions since Canada won five straight from 2005-09. A big victory under the unique circumstances at New Era Field would help set the stage for that.
The loss to Slovakia put Team USA in a potentially precarious position, but it can change that quickly by returning to form against Canada. The quick turnaround doesn’t give the American prospects much time to dwell on their failings Thursday night.
At this point, the biggest question for the game may be the weather. The current forecast for Friday in Buffalo includes a high of 17 degrees and a chance of snow showers. That’s potentially going to be brutal for players, coaches, and fans alike, so it’ll be interesting to see how such extreme weather might have an impact on the proceedings.
How to watch USA vs. Canada, World Juniors outdoor game
Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: New Era Field, Buffalo
TV: NHL Network (U.S.), TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5, RDS (Canada)
Live stream: TSNGO (Canada only, subscription required)