U.S. facing indignity of relegation round

Canada's goalie Scott Wedgewood (R) shakes hands with Team USA's goalie Jack Campbell after Canada...

Canada's goalie Scott Wedgewood (R) shakes hands with Team USA's goalie Jack Campbell after Canada defeated Team USA at the 2012 IIHF U20 World Junior Hockey Championships in Edmonton, Alberta, December 31, 2011. (REUTERS/Todd Korol)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:12 AM ET

They were 1-3 at the world junior championship and must now suffer the indignity of having to play in the relegation round.

On the bright side, if the Mayans are right, this will only be the second worst December those kids from the US team will ever know.

“It’s pretty disappointing... you work so hard,” said American winger JT Miller, after a 3-2 loss to the Canadians on New Year’s Eve. “I guess the Finland game wasn’t our best, but the last two games I thought we gave it everything we had as a team, we just came up short.

“For the USA not to be going for a gold medal... it just blows my mind.”

The Yanks had a disastrous world junior, losing 4-1 to Finland and then, proving it was no fluke, lost 5-2 to the Czechs. They were also treated like the villains of the tournament for some reason - the team Rexall Place loved to hate.

Or, at least, boo.

“To have everybody cheering against you no matter who you’re playing is a pretty cool feeling,” said Miller. “It means you have a pretty good reputation. I think they were a little worried, to be honest.”

They would have loved to shove an upset win down Edmonton’s throat, but just fell short.

“Definitely,” said Charlie Coyle. “It would have been sweet to beat Canada in its home rink and kind of ruin their parade. We gave it our all, but a little too late.”

While it’s not Canada, where a 1-3 round robin would mean they’d have to shut the country down for a few days, but there will still be plenty of naval gazing in American hockey circles after this.

“I couldn’t be more proud of all the the guys,” said Miller. “From the goaltending out, the coaching staff We gave it everything we had, pushed as hard as we could, it just wasn’t enough.”

ROBERT.TYCHKOWSKI@Sunmedia.ca

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