Well, there are some fans rooting for the U.S. on its home soil, which is different from last year when they were clearly the enemy in Saskatoon. Still, while there were chants of "U-S-A, U-S-A" at HSBC Arena during Sunday's 3-2 overtime win over Finland, there were plenty of Canadian fans there rooting for the Finns.
Call it the ultimate sign of respect, but the Americans don't appear to be concerned about any potential home-ice disadvantage.
"It's great to have fans in the building. It's great to have excitement and noise, but at the end of the day that's what it is is noise," U.S. coach Keith Allain said. "The people that matter are our guys and the other guys, and the game will be won or lost on the ice."
Canada coach Dave Cameron's response to red, white and black faithful rooting for Finland: "That wasn't the fans. That was Canada's coaching staff," Cameron quipped.
Ryan Bourque, son of NHL Hall of Fame defenseman and former Boston Bruin Ray, had an unexpected Christmas treat over the weekend as Team USA and the New England Patriots shared the same hotel.
Bourque, an 18-year-old forward and New York Rangers prospect, is a huge Pats fan and the Boxford, Mass., native ran into some of them in the elevator. He didn't interact too much with them but did say good luck (as if they needed it before dominating the Bills, 34-3).
"It was cool for me, being a fan, to see them," Bourque said. Michigan natives Jon Merrill and Jack Campbell saw former Wolverines quarterback Tom Brady and saluted the three-time Super Bowl champion with a "Go Blue" greeting, according to Bourque.
Did Bourque get to watch any of the Pats' game before the U.S. opened its title defense against Finland?
"I was mostly just resting and staying focused. I didn't really see much of it [the game]," he said.
Calgary-Edmonton up next
Next year's tournament will be split between Calgary and Edmonton. The Scotiabank Saddledome, home of the Flames, will get all of the medal round games and non-Canada prelim contests. Rexall Place in Edmonton will get Canada's round-robin games.
Former Calgary GM Al Coates is part of a team in Buffalo surveying the scene in HSBC Arena. Former Flames star and current Calgary vice president Jim Peplinski was the chairman of the city's half of the joint bid, which was awarded in August, 2008.
"It's going to work great," Peplinski said Monday in Calgary prior to the Sabres-Flames game. "There's two terrific buildings, two great staffs and what's normally two cities pitted against each other are ready to host the best world juniors after Buffalo."
The Calgary-Edmonton team is on site, just as the Sabres' staff went to Saskatoon last year.
"They're looking for experiences that can translate into continuous improvement when we come to Alberta next year," said Peplinski, one of the co-captains of Calgary's 1989 Stanley Cup champions. "There's no one specific thing other than going and watching to learn."
Peplinski said he watched Sunday's Canada-Russia game on TV from Buffalo and was impressed by the atmosphere.
"To have Buffalo host it and draw from Canada I would think is kind of like the Edmonton-Calgary thing where you get the best of both worlds," he said. "My son works in Toronto and bought bunch of tickets to the gold-medal game and having lots of fans close by adds to the atmosphere for sure. It's great to see that."
Compiled by News Sports Staff