International Youth Hockey Tournaments
One of the most competitive sports rivalries is between the United States of America and Canada. Over time, these nations have competed against each other in plenty of sports, especially in ice hockey, and many times they have stolen the lead from each other.
Youth hockey tournaments in which both the USA and Canada compete are the Winter Youth Olympic Games and the IIHF World Junior Games. The former has seen these two nations compete twice, with the USA winning gold in 2016. However, in the latter, Canada has won the finals 18 times, with the USA winning only 4.
If you want to know more about these youth hockey tournaments and how they are played, keep reading the article below. We will also discuss how the USA and Canada have scored against each other in the past.
Innsbruck and Seefeld, Austria hosted the first-ever Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012. This tournament included 11 different nations, including Canada, but not the USA. For this year, Finland, Latvia, Netherlands, and Sweden took home the gold rankings at the top for the skills challenges. In contrast, Canada took home a bronze medal, ranking 8th alongside three other nations.
Lillehammer, Norway hosted the following Winter Youth Olympic Games, where 13 nations participated. The USA took home a gold medal and ranked at the top alongside three other countries. At the same time, Canada took home a silver medal, ranking 5th, alongside three other nations.
The governing body of Ice Hockey at the Youth Olympic Games is the IIHF, and the sport of ice hockey was inducted into the games in 2012, for both boys and girls, with both a team competition and an individual skills challenge.
However, in 2020, the skills challenge was switched to a mixed-NOC 3-on-3 tournament. Players eligible for the tournament must be 15, 16, 17, or 18 years old on December 31st of that year.
The tournament that now occurs, but was slightly different in 2012 and 2016, happens in two phases, with a 3-on-3 tournament followed by a 6-team tournament, both in the male and female category.
The IIHF added the 3-on-3 cross-ice tournament to encourage younger players to continue playing ice hockey. The best player from each country chosen from a national skills challenge will be the player to participate. The skills challenge is where players will compete against time. The remaining players will then be chosen based on a global ranking system.
The 3-on-3 format is where players have a chance to shoot and pass and improve their technical and tactical skills, which will then be followed by a skill challenge test where players will skate back and forth, stickhandle and shoot the puck above an obstacle.
This is then followed by the second phase, a 6-team tournament where the teams play for gold medals. However, the country must choose whether they will be sending a male or female team.
Since the USA did not participate in the Winter Youth Olympic Games until 2016, they have only faced Canada in two separate tournaments, the one held in 2016 and the one that occurred at the beginning of 2020, in Lausanne, Switzerland.
In 2016, Canada faced the USA in the preliminary round, beating them 4-2; however, both of these nations ended up in the semifinals competing against separate teams. With both of these teams winning, they played the final game for the gold. In this game, the USA won 5-2, taking home their first gold medal at the Winter Youth Olympic Games for ice hockey.
In 2020, the preliminary 6-team tournament placed Canada and the USA in separate groups, so they did not face each other until the semifinals.
In the semifinals, the four teams that made it were Russia, Finland, the United States, and Canada. In the first semifinal game, the USA competed against Canada, beating them 2-1. Following this, Canada won the bronze medal game, and the USA lost the gold medal game to Russia, leaving them with silver.
The IIHF World Junior’s first official tournament occurred in 1977, with 44 tournaments happening since then. This tournament is held for national ice hockey teams with players under 20 years of age worldwide and typically occurs from late December into January.
The main tournament consists of the top 10 ranked nations in hockey worldwide, featuring the “Top Division”, where a world champion is crowned. There are also three lower divisions, I, II, and III, where they play separate tournaments, earning the chance to be sent into a higher pool.
As it stands, Canada has dominated these tournaments since its inception holding 18 gold medals, whereas the United States holds only 4. If you’re interested in finding out just how Canadian ice hockey really is, be sure to take a look at our article covering the subject.
The first year that Canada won the tournament was in 1982, where they won the championships and the United States placed 6th. In this round-robin tournament, the United States only faced Canada once, where Canada won 5-4.
The first year that the United States was the champion was in 2004, with Canada being the runner-up, winning silver. In the final game, the USA competed against Canada, taking home the gold with a final score of 4-3.
Out of all of the matches that the USA and Canada have played against each other, whether it was a placement game, preliminary round, part of the round-robin, a consolation round, semifinal, or final game, Canada has won 37 out of 55 of them, leaving the USA with 15 wins. Out of those 55 matches, 3 of them ended in ties.
Below we have outlined all of the matches where the United States has played against Canada and note which ended up winning during the respective year.
Also, be sure to take a read through our article covering which junior hockey league is best.
|1998||5th-8th Placement Games||3-0||USA|
|2000||Bronze Medal Game||4-3 SO||Canada|
|2010||Preliminary Round||5-4 SO||Canada|
|2018||Preliminary Round||4-3 SO||USA|
Based on the above track record, you might be interested in reading our article about the percentage of Canadien hockey players in the NHL.
The USA and Canada have had some fantastic games against each other in their youth hockey tournaments that have resulted in many wins for both nations, making them infamous for their rivalry and a large set of respective fans.
Although Canada has dominated the IIHF World Juniors, they have yet to win a gold in the Winter Youth Olympics. In contrast, the United States won gold in their first-ever Youth Olympic Tournament in 2016.
- Wikipedia: Canada-US junior ice hockey rivalry
- IIHF: Youth Olympic Games
- Wikipedia: Ice hockey at the youth olympic games
- Wikipedia: Ice hockey at the 2012 winter youth olympics
- Wikipedia: Ice hockey at the 2016 winter youth olympics
- Wikipedia: List of IIHF World Under-20 Championship medalists
- Wikipedia: 2004 world junior ice hockey championships
- IIHF: 2020 Youth Olympic Games National Skills Challenge Manual
- Wikipedia: Ice hockey at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics – Boys’ tournament
- Wikipedia: Ice hockey at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics – Boys’ tournament