For the second time in four years, the United States have won the World Junior Hockey Championship. Saturday in Ufa, Russia, the United States defeated Sweden 3-1 in the championship final.
A major reason for the American victory, was the outstanding coaching by former Calgary Flame Phil Housley.
The defenceman who played on the Calgary Flames' blueline from 1994-1996 and again from 1998-2001, made his head coaching debut at the international level for the United States during the World Junior Hockey Championship and avid hockey fans could instantly tell how much of an impact he personally had on this gold medal winning squad.
The American defense as a unit, was the heart and soul of the American team. They exemplified collective dominance, never afraid to jump into the play, and playing very close to the way their head coach Phil Housley played in the National Hockey League from 1982-2003.
The offense from the defense, which had 10 tournament goals, was a major reason for the United States' success. While Canada struggled mightily on the blueline, this was the Americans' strength and it had a lot to do with Housley's expertise.
It will be interesting to see if any future opportunities at the professional level become available for Housley, who displayed a fantastic demeanour for the last two weeks in Russia.