Sunaya Sapurji is the junior hockey columnist for Yahoo! Sports Canada.
- Sunaya Sapurji | Yahoo! Sports – Thu, Feb 7, 2013 2:44 PM EST
- Sunaya Sapurji | Yahoo! Sports – Thu, Feb 7, 2013 2:17 PM EST
- Sunaya Sapurji | Yahoo! Sports – Mon, Jan 14, 2013 1:48 PM EST
It’s hard in junior hockey to relay the talents of a future bright star without giving them a label of an NHL star from the past. We often use “next” – the next Gretzky, Jagr, Lindros, Lidstrom – to give fans a reference point.
It is often an unfair burden to be “the next” when all a player strives to be is himself.
“It’s fun when they’re talking about me and (Forsberg),” said Lindholm. “But it’s tough to be compared with him.”
The comparison to Forsberg, particularly in Sweden, is a lofty one. But it’s this kind of comparison that has Lindholm ranked as one of the top European skaters for the 2013 NHL entry draft. Like Forsberg, Lindholm is a complete player – a good skater, extremely smart, skilled with and without the puck, and both a deft passer and capable goal-scorer.
Roger Ronnberg, who coached Lindholm and Team Sweden to a silverRead More »from Sweden's Elias Lindholm earns Peter Forsberg comparisons and top billing for 2013 NHL draft
- Sunaya Sapurji | Yahoo! Sports – Sat, Jan 5, 2013 1:11 PM EST
UFA, Russia — One year ago in Calgary, Jim Johannson was standing in the media area trying to explain what went so terribly wrong. As the man in charge of hockey operations for USA Hockey, he was there to answer for his team’s seventh-place finish.
On Saturday, in Ufa, Russia, Johannson was once again standing in the media area, but this time he was surrounded by his American players wearing gold medals around their necks. They had just beaten the defending champions from Sweden 3-1 to win their first world junior tournament since 2010.
“It’s a tough tournament,” said Johannson. “Things happen in the tournament, some things you can control and some you can’t. I think in the end it comes down to getting key performances from players and the coaches along with just having some good fortune mixed with good performance.”
Among those who stood out for the AmericansRead More »from 2013 WJC: Team USA takes gold after finding stride in playoff round
- Sunaya Sapurji | Yahoo! Sports – Sat, Jan 5, 2013 12:01 PM EST
UFA, Russia — For the first time since 1998, Team Canada will come home without a medal from the world junior championship.
Russia beat Canada 6-5 in overtime to secure a bronze medal in front of a raucous crowd of 7,617 fans at Ufa Arena. Forward Valeri Nichushkin, one of the top European prospects for the 2013 NHL draft, cut to the outside and blew past Canadian defender Ryan Murphy before beating another rearguard, Morgan Reilly, to the front of the net.
Nichushkin, donning the full cage of a 17-year-old, then slipped the puck past the outstretched pad of goaltender Malcolm Subban.
Once the red light went on, it was bedlam.
The Russian fans celebrated and their players dove on top of one another in the corner just to the right of the net where Subban sat dazed in his crease. As theyRead More »from 2013 WJC: No medal, no satisfaction as Canada comes up short against Russia
- Sunaya Sapurji | Yahoo! Sports – Fri, Jan 4, 2013 10:56 AM EST
UFA, Russia — When Canadian defenceman Griffin Reinhart served his two-minute penalty for a high-sticking call against the Americans on Thursday, he did his time, skated back to the bench and thought nothing of it. His mind was focused on the semifinal game between the two nations at the world junior championship.
The stick glanced off the helmet and Trocheck was uninjured. He didn’t miss a shift.
On Friday morning the IIHF, the governing body of the tournament, suspended Reinhart for four games. Hockey Canada said it was one of the largest suspensions ever handed out at a world junior tournament.
As a result of the suspension Reinhart will miss the Canada’s bronze medal match against the Russians on Saturday.
“The referees in the play found it a two-minute penalty and IRead More »from 2013 WJC: Canada's Griffin Reinhart shocked by lengthy suspension for high stick
- Sunaya Sapurji | Yahoo! Sports – Thu, Jan 3, 2013 10:43 AM EST
UFA, Russia — For the first time, in a long time, American defenceman Jake McCabe stood on his blueline, saw his nation’s flag raised and heard the Star Spangled Banner being played.
“It’s pretty special.”
His special moment was a nightmare for Team Canada.
The Americans stunned the Canadians with a 5-1 victory in the semifinals of the world junior championship. The Canadians, who earned a bye to the semifinal, were undefeated in round-robin play and had beaten the U.S. earlier in the week.
“We played exactly how we needed to,” said McCabe, who scored a pair of goals for the U.S. “We played in their zone, we controlled the pace and we put them on their heels right off the bat. They really didn’t know what hit them in theRead More »from 2013 WJC: U.S. stuns Canada with emphatic semifinal victory
- Sunaya Sapurji | Yahoo! Sports – Wed, Jan 2, 2013 12:47 PM EST
UFA, Russia — It’s a moment that Jonathan Huberdeau still remembers vividly. He remembers suffering defeat at the hands of the Russians in the semifinals of the 2012 world junior championship.
“It’s been a year, but it feels like it was yesterday that it happened,” said Huberdeau, one of Canada’s alternate captains.
On Thursday, he will get another chance to advance to the gold medal game when Team Canada faces the U.S. at Ufa Arena at 4 a.m. ET. Like last year, when Canada won bronze in Calgary, the team will have had two days of rest before the semifinal.
“For sure we think about that – we had two days off – it’s the same scenario that happened last year two days off and then we play a semifinal,” said the third overall pick of the Florida Panthers in 2011. “It’s a different team and it’s a different tournament.
“We just want to have a great start and we want to be focused, that’s the mostRead More »from 2013 WJC: Canada doesn't want to repeat history in semifinal showdown with U.S.
- Sunaya Sapurji | Yahoo! Sports – Mon, Dec 31, 2012 2:21 PM EST
UFA, Russia — Team Canada head coach Steve Spott ended his post-game conference with Russian media by wishing them a “Happy New Year” in their native tongue.
“To play against a team like Canada is always hard,” said Varnakov through a translator. “You should always be alert and you should always be disciplined.”
Thus far in the tournament, it has been Team Canada that has struggled with taking penalties. This time however, it was the Russians that found themselves in the box early in the first period when Valeri Nichushkin was given a five-minute major for checking from behind and a game misconduct for slamming defenceman Tyler Worthersoon face-first into the dasher board. Adding injury to injury, it was his first shift back for the Calgary FlamesRead More »from 2013 WJC: New addition to top line sparks Canada's big victory over Russia
- Sunaya Sapurji | Yahoo! Sports – Sun, Dec 30, 2012 1:10 PM EST
UFA, Russia — Skating over to Team Canada’s bench to grab some water during the television timeouts, goaltender Malcolm Subban stopped in front of backup Jordan Binnington. The two shared a few words before Subban skated back to his crease and back to work.
What he was doing was stonewalling Team USA, making 36 saves en route to a 2-1 victory over the Americans as Canada remained undefeated at the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championship.
“No one deserves it more than him,” said forward Ryan Strome, who scored the game-winner, of Subban. “He proved a lot of people wrong. We knew he had it in him and I think he quieted a lot of people.”
Entering the tournament there had been questions about Subban’s ability to carry Team Canada against tough competition. In the opening games of the tournament against Germany and Slovakia, the Boston Bruins’ first-round draft pick last June appeared to be fighting the puck,Read More »from 2013 WJC: Subban shines as Canada beats U.S., setting up showdown with Russia