St. Louis Blues prospect Ty Rattie scored Canada’s lone goal against the United States in the semi-finals of the World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
Goaltender Jordan Binnington, another Blues prospect, played the second half of game after Canada fell behind 4-0. Both he and Rattie should benefit from their participation.
But hockey fans in the Great White North were pretty sour after the U.S. stunned Canada 5-1 to advance to the gold medal game. The Canadians will play for the bronze medal, which was definitely NOT their goal coming in.
Losing, Rattie told reporters after the game, is “the worst feeling in the world.”
What went wrong?
“They came out quick,” Rattie told reporters. “We didn’t. We didn’t respond until the third – and that was too late.”
Team USA coach Phil Housley, a former Blues defenseman, earned a big victory in his second career. One of his key performers was Harvard forward Jim Vesey, son of a former Blues and Boston Bruins forward by the same name.
“We got the start we wanted, scoring the all-important first goal,” Housley told reporters. “We wanted to dictate the pace of the game early and we were able to do that and then it carried into the second period. We're going to enjoy this win tonight and then start thinking about the gold medal game tomorrow.”
Blues fans can look forward to seeing Rattie and Binnington in future Blues training camps. Both players factor into the organization’s plans.
Rattie is a small but persistent scorer. In his last 99 games for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, he has scored 168 points.
If he can add the strength needed to fend off NHL checking, he could rise to the highest level. He has a great feel for the game and a knack for converting opportunities around the net.
Rattie batted in his own rebound for a shorthanded goal Thursday, catching the Americans anticipating a stoppage in play. That was the only the Canadians got all game.
Binnington, backed up Malcolm Subban in the tournament, is trying to follow Jake Allen’s path from major junior hockey to the American Hockey League. He could earn a depth role for the Blues organization next fall.
For more on the Blues at the WJC, check out my story at STLToday.com.