Even after the NHL lockout ended, it may still take a couple weeks for professional pucks to drop in the United States, but hockey fans got a treat over the weekend, as long as the volume was turned down on their TV sets.
In a hockey tradition that's becoming as special as octopi on the ice, USA Hockey's Junior National Team captured another gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Championships and submitted another sensationally bad rendition of the national anthem.
The U.S. roster is composed of 23 teenagers, none apparently capable of singing on key, including 18-year-old Plano, Texas sensation Seth Jones, who has been recognized in this space before as the son of longtime NBA player Popeye Jones.
The potential No. 1 draft pick in the 2013 NHL draft, Jones totaled one goal and six assists during Team USA's run, culminating in a 3-1 gold medal win over Sweden. His seven points in seven games ranked second among all defensemen in the tournament.
Forward Ryan Hartman (West Dundee, Ill.), 18, is the only other draft eligible player on the U.S. roster, and he totaled a pair of goals and an assist as well.
Afterwards, that duo helped keep a Star Spangled Banner-singing (if you can call it that) tradition alive by reenacting the off-key rendition performed by their 2010 World Junior Championship gold medalist predecessors.