The Loop

Team USA won the World Junior Hockey Championships and then celebrated with a trash can with Team Canada’s logo on it. Rivalry on?

January 06, 2021

As you may or may not have heard, the United States scored a big, fat W on Tuesday night. No, we’re not talking about the Georgia run-offs (although many could argue that was the biggest victory of the evening.) We’re talking about the gold medal the next generation of American hockey talent took home at the World Junior Hockey Championships, downing Canada 2-0 in the tournament’s final. Enjoy the sparkling cider, boys.

But despite Taylor Zegras tying Team USA’s all-time U-20 WJC points record at 27 career points and Theresa Feaster becoming not only the first-ever female assistant coach at the World Juniors, but the first to win gold, the headlines after the game belonged to a blue trash can. Why? Well, just watch closely.

Yep, that’s Team Canada’s logo emblazoned on the side of that garbage receptacle, which Team USA proudly trotted it out for the team photo after the game. You love to see it, unless you pronounce “about” weird, in which case you definitely don’t.

Now you can go ahead and argue the “classiness” (or lack thereof) of this move until the skates dry out, but that’s not really the point. In fact, the point is that it ISN’T classy. That’s how all great rivalries work. You think Ohio State-Michigan and Red Sox-Yankees keep it above the belt? Hell no they don’t. It’s also probably worth pointing out that it wasn’t a trash can at all, but a barrel, in keeping with Team USA’s “one barrel at a time” tournament mantra, with Canada, as fellow finalists, obviously representing that last barrel.

But if we have an honest-to-goodness border war brewing, why stop it? The NHL is trying to rob Canada of their national sport. A Canadian team hasn’t won the Stanley Cup since Jagr was a pup. And now this latest act of aggression. This is how bad blood begins, and nothing could be better for hockey in America than that.