Following Canada’s 2-1 overtime quarter-final loss to Finland at the World Junior Hockey Championships, Canadian goaltender Michael DiPietro said “You feel like you’ve let your country down” when reacting to the defeat.
This can’t be a good feeling for a 19-year-old to have.
These sorts of responses from players can lead some to ask if there is too much pressure on these young athletes.
I say no.
I’ll admit that it’s gut-wrenching to watch the disappointment on television, I can’t imagine going through it. A loss at this stage of the tournament on home ice has to be bitter.
However, this is just a snap shot of a players’ career.
The majority of these elite athletes have bright futures ahead. In a tournament where there is only one gold medal winner, the experience of high stakes hockey may be of benefit regardless of wins and losses.
Time will help DiPietro and the other Canadian players deal with this loss. Time will also help these players realize how this tournament set the table for the future.