Cam York and Bobby Brink win Gold
“Red, white, blue and GOLD” USA WINS GOLD!
The first two picks of the Chuck Fletcher era, Cam York (14th overall) and Bobby Brink (34th overall), won gold in a thrilling game that ended 2-0 for TEAM USA. York and Brink have both had good tournaments, but last night was both of their best games. They didn’t find the stat sheet but they did all the little things that it takes to win a gold medal game like this one.
You sometimes wonder if York is trying out there when you watch him. His skating is so smooth, it sometimes seems like he’s gliding. If there was one knock one York in this tournament it would be the fact the he needs to exert his style of play on games more than he did. You could make an argument that York simply didn’t need to put the team on his shoulders with guys like Trevor Zegras (ANA), Matthew Boldy (MIN) and Arthur Kaliyev (LA) having great tournaments on the offensive side. York just needed to be steady in the backend.
York had his shakiest game defensively vs FIN, right before the gold medal game. York was out on all three of Finland’s goals but I’d say was only to blame for one, maybe two. Lets take a look at them.
The first goal came on the power-play for Finland. This is the one goal that I would say York can be held accountable for. He needs to either tie #29 stick up or get in-front of him. Instead, York tried to stick lift the Finland player but a strong stick on the ice negates that and ties the game 1-1.
Saw people give York the blame for the second goal, but I disagree completely. York is busy working on the man in-front of the net, giving him some shoves in the back. Alex Turcotte (LA) loses his man completely. He focuses too much on the puck carrier, turns his back to Kasper Simontaival (LA), who rolls off Turcotte and gets one of the easiest goals of his career.
The third goal is another power-play goal for Finland (2nd of game). I think it’s safe to say Cam York, when he officially makes the jump to the NHL, won’t have PK duties at least to start off his career. He tries to clear the puck after a rebound chance but Finland is able to put the bouncing puck in the back of the net. Another play where York is trying to stick lift but isn’t able to.
Enough of all the bad play talk. York just captained his team to a gold medal vs the HEAVILY favored and apparent “powerhouse” team Canada. Trevor Zegras had some inspiring words that would’ve had me pumped and ready to skate through a brick wall if I was his teammate.
Team Canada headed into this gold medal game not ever trailing in a game. They were never tested at all in the tournament, cruising by their opponent the entire time.
Game 1: 16-2 vs Germany
Game 2: 3-1 vs SVK
Game 3: 10-0 vs CZE
Game 4: 4-1 vs Finland
Quarterfinals: 3-0 vs CZE
Semifinals: 5-0 vs Russia
Cam York didn’t find the scoresheet vs Canada but he had his best overall game of the tournament. After the game vs Finland, there was talk of York’s defensive game, some saying they weren’t impressed with him in the tournament.
He shut those people right up last night.
Quinton Byfield (LA) tries to get inside York, goes to the backhand to make a move towards the net but is met cleanly by York and driven right into the boards with force. You can’t execute this play any better than York did. Textbook play from the captain.
York channels his inner Shayne Gostisbehere here. He’s the only man back during a 2 on 1 early in the third period. Love how York doesn’t wait for the player to make his move, he makes it for him. York leaves his feet to try and stop a potential pass and pokes the puck beautifully to the corner. Not only does he make the diving play, York is athletic enough to get back on his feet and beat the same player he poked the puck away from on his stomach, to the puck.
York was named top 3 player on team USA throughout tournament before the gold game. He was easily USA’s best defenseman. York finishes the tournament with 1G-5A-6P in 7 games and a gold medal.
Brink’s first couple games he was doing everything but scoring. He was in the right spots, making all the right decisions he just couldn’t finish anything. Finally, he broke out against the CZE and scored two goals. Brink headed into yesterdays gold medal game with 2G-4A for 6P. Like York, Brink didn’t find the scoresheet vs CAN, but he did all the little things you need your players to do to win huge games like this.
Brink took a lazy tripping call in the first period but made up for that later with some incredbile hustle plays that will get a bench screaming and stick tapping the bench for you. The first play Brink makes gave his team the opportunity to get a clean line change. Brink dumps the puck into the zone, realizes that it’s icing, hustles down to the corner, beats the icing call and finds a wide open Ryan Johnson for a beautiful scoring chance.
In the third period, the time you need someone to step up and deliver those key blocked shots, Brink does just that…..TWICE. Brink covers himself up and blocks a point shot from Guhle (MTL), a terrific play from the forward.
You could argue the second blocked shot was bigger than the first. Coming later in the period, Brink does whatever it takes, sliding into the puck, blocking it and the CAN player from making a play.
A fun tournament to watch unfold with two Flyers prospects coming out of it with gold. York (Michigan) and Brink (Denver) both head back to their colleges, looking to hop right back into things. You can take the earlier games and blowouts with a grain of salt, as those games can get a little carried away with no real competition. This gold medal game was for all the marbles and the boys showed up big time.
Go get that trophy, captain.
This won’t be the last time York and Brink celebrate together. GO FLYERS!
Mandatory Credit: Getty Images Sports Codie McLachlan