BOSTON -- Having played for Canada in two World Junior Championships, Boston Bruins rookie forward Brad Marchand couldn't bear to watch Canada suffer its worst collapse of a tournament it has dominated with 15 gold medals.
Up 3-0 in Wednesday night's gold-medal game and seemingly in total control as the third period began, Canada just fell flat, giving up five unanswered goals en route to a devastating 5-3 loss to its rival Russia.
"That was disappointing," said Marchand, who won two gold medals with Canada in 2007 and 2008. "They let their foot off the gas pedal there and you can't do that against a team like Russia because they're so good. The whole nation is disappointed and it was tough to watch."
Marchand knows only one player from the 2011 squad -- goalie Olivier Roy, whom he played against in the QMJHL -- but he still enjoys watching what has become a focal point for NHL general managers and scouts preparing for June's NHL draft.
'It's fun to see him and others coming up and do well," Marchand said of Roy. "It's obviously huge for their draft stock and the spotlight is huge. It's such an exciting tournament to play in and to watch."
The tournament displays brilliant and riveting hockey, which is why it is surprising that even as the NHL grows in the United States, the tournament hasn't. Buffalo, N.Y., was the host this year but you wouldn't have known it from the Red and White-clad Canadian fans who dominated the stands at HSBC Arena. Even after USA beat Canada in a dramatic overtime game for the gold medal last year, there wasn't much attention paid to the tournament this year.
"I don't know why it hasn't [grown in the U.S.] because you figured it would after last year," Marchand said. "Then in places where it's held -- I thought in Buffalo there would be more American fans but the Canadians took over the building. I don't get why it hasn't picked up here in the states, at least in hockey areas like that or even here in Boston. It's really some great hockey."