This 'n' That
by Andrew Podnieks|02 MAY 2021
Connor Bedard is the youngest player at this year's U18, and a mere 80 days older than Sidney Crosby's NHL career!
 
photo: Ryan McCullough / HHOF-IIHF Images
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The preliminary round is over, and the playoffs are up next, so here is a pot pourri of facts and stuff to get you ready for the quarter-finals:
 
  • No U18 team has ever won “Perfect Gold.” That is, no team gone through a tournament with: (1) a perfect record (only regulation wins); (2) never trailed in any game; (3) never tied after 0-0 in any game. As of now, the only team that falls into that category this year is Canada. Every other team has lost a game or won after regulation.
     
  • Connor Bedard was born on 17 July 2005. Exactly 80 days later, Sidney Crosby played in his first NHL game.
     
  • There has never been a player born in Frisco to go on to the NHL, but Plano can claim two alumni: Blake Coleman and Stefan Noesen.
     
  • There are four players at this year’s U18 who also played at the World Junior Championship earlier this year: Attilio Biasca (SUI), Brad Lambert (FIN), David Jiracek (CZE), and Stanislav Svozil (CZE).
     
  • While Canadians have TSN to watch the U18 and a few other countries can follow on TV as well (see list), the rest of the world has the streaming services of hockeytv.com to work with. The crews have provided professional and knowledgeable coverage of all games. In Frisco, that means Jim Rich on play-by-play and Chris Peters doing the colour. In Plano, the pxp duties have been shared by Bruce Levine, Skip Boyden, and Grayson Nolette, and Tyler Kuehl is doing the colour.
     
  • Because of COVID-19, about half of the on-ice officials are from the U.S. and the other half from Europe.
     
  • IIHF rules used to require players under 18 to wear cages, but with options this year several have adopted full face shields instead, including Danila Klimovich (BLR) and Bogdans Hodass (LAT).
     
  • Because of safety protocols, teams are not shaking hands after games, an international tradition which will return as soon as it is safe to do so.
     
  • The glass around the boards is shorter in Plano than Frisco, which is why through the preliminary round in each venue Frisco has had only two penalties for delay of game because the puck was shot out over the glass while in Plano teams have had seven. Plano teams have also incurred six minors for too many men and four in Frisco.
     
  • Each team has a roster that includes 22 skaters and 3 goaltenders. But of the 220 total skaters in the tournament, only 57 shoot right (25.9 %). Belarus and Germany have only two righties, while Finland and Canada have the most (10).
     
  • Through the first 20 games there have been two decided by the penalty-shot shootout, two in overtime, and seven blowouts (win by five or more goals). The losers in 11 of the 20 have scored either zero or one goal. Three of Finland's four games have been decided by one goal.