Ryan Murphy stood wearing his Team Canada hat, his red Canada sweater and summed up the feelings of a hockey-mad nation.
“Fourth place is not what Canada is,” the 19-year-old defenceman said. “It’s unacceptable. We will be back next year.”
But fourth place is all Canada has after losing 6-5 in a thrilling, end-to-end overtime hockey game against Russia, failing to win bronze in the 2013 world junior championship before a ramped-up crowd of 7,617 at the Ufa Arena.
It’s the first time Canada has not won a medal at the world junior since 1998, ending a 14-year run that included five golds, six silvers and three bronze.
And Canada’s streak of going home without gold has hit four years. Perhaps most stunning fact about the failure was Canada’s deeper-than-usual lineup because of the National Hockey League lockout. Close to half the team could wind up at NHL training camps in the next week or two, if the league and the Players’ Association finally put aside their p