This is a simple letter folks to the Kazakhstan players on this year’s squad for the World Junior Hockey Championships.
Dear Kazakhstan Players:
Congratulations on making the World Junior Hockey Championships. Obviously you will be relegated after losing tonight 12-0 to the United States in Group A play. Sadly you did lose all three of your games in pool play by a differential of 36-0. Before you hang your heads in shame, keep in mind that it always can be worse.
First I want to thank The Daily Campus for the following. Remember the Bulgarian women’s hockey team this year? Yes they lost 82-0 to Slovakia (that is one goal every 44 seconds folks!). Losing 12-0 tonight was not as bad as the 1944 New York Rangers tonight who lost 15-0 to the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings scored 8 goals in one period alone which is something that Kazakhstan did not do in this tournament.
Just to throw an oh by the way out there to you, the players. That Bulgarian team did not manage a shot on goal while the Slovaks had 139 shots on goal. It is not a misprint. Think of how hard that is to do. At least you showed your pride against the best the world has to offer. Also, you managed ten shots against the Americans…consider yourselves fortunate that though there were no goals scored by your team in this tournament…at the very least you never did quit.
A big salute to Kazakhstan goalie, Andrei Yankov, who made some outstanding saves against Canada and even kept the Americans scoreless for over 16:00 tonight before the floodgates opened. The players were clearly outmatched. You could see it in their eyes and yet they kept playing and trying. This was not Bulgaria….this was much different and you as players of your country can be proud of that at the very least.
So we will not cue up Real Men of Genius here….because your country deserves much better. Kazakhstan did earn their way into this tournament. There were teams that you had to beat and you did that. For that, every member of the team from the top to the bottom should be proud. The handshakes must of have been humbling especially against the Canadians and Americans who showed no mercy in the third period of games that were out of hand.
Thank you Kazakhstan for sending a team that showed the best elements of the human spirit are still out there for the world to see. You never did quit at all and you never got flustered no matter what the big bad Americans and Canadians did to try and irritate you. Good luck to you next year in relegation tournaments and future tournaments in general. I salute you.
Director Of The Program (USA)