Canada plays lowly Kazakhstan in the World Junior Hockey Championships today at 3pm EST. It should be a cakewalk right? Hopefully Canada never makes that mistake again.
On January 3rd, 1998, almost exactly 10 years ago to the day, Canada faced off against Kazakhstan, featuring a young Nik Antropov. The Kazakhs were wearing antiquated equipment, and only started the tournament with seven spare sticks to replace broken ones. Yet somehow they jumped out to 4-0 lead and held on to embarrass Canada 6-3, with Canada making the score slightly more respectable by scoring with just 3 seconds left.
That Team Canada finished in 8th place, narrowly avoiding the relegation round. Needless to say, it was the worse showing in Canadian history at the WJC.
The Canadian team that year featured Alex Tanguay, Vinnie Lecavalier, Eric Brewer, J.P. Dumont and Mathieu Garon in goal, with Roberto Luongo as the back up. Otherwise the team was compromised of future NHL pluggers and several players who never amounted to much in NHL circles.