Ahead of the 2023 IIHF World Championship tournament play, the United States went undefeated in group play.
When the chips were on the table, the outcome was different. The United States finished 1-0-2 in tournament play. Canada went 3-0-0.
Flipping the script, Canada won the gold medal. The United States didn’t place, finishing not with a bang but with a whimper.
David Quinn did not put Attard into the lineup during the IIHF World Championship tournament play. He chose to deploy Tyler Kleven instead.
In group play, the United States finished 7-0-0. Attard was in the lineup for four games, where the defense allowed only three goals. Attard never stepped back onto the ice after defeating France, 9-0.
Germany defeated the United States, ensuring they wouldn’t battle for the gold medal. Ironically, Attard played his best game against Germany in group play, scoring en route to a victory.
Attard finished the IIHF World Championships with a goal and a +2 rating.
Gauthier was one of the highest-performing forwards in the IIHF World Championships. He mixed in with NHL skaters, claiming his territory as one of the finer goal scorers.
Running wild, Gauthier scored a hat trick against France. Gauthier notched four points in that victory, his best game during group play. He and TJ Tynan were an impressive duo. Gauthier tallied eight points (6G, 2A), only trailing Dominik Kubalik and Rocco Grimaldi in team scoring for the United States.
Then, Gauthier cooled down. He scored a goal versus Czechia, directly off of a faceoff draw, to put the United States up 3-0. It was his only point in tournament play.
Unfortunately, Gauthier was not a spark versus Germany and Latvia. A loss to Germany in overtime meant the United States wasn’t eligible to compete for a gold medal. Losing to Latvia served as salt in the wound, ensuring the United States wouldn’t medal.
Overall, Gauthier appeared in 10 games, scoring nine points (7G, 2A) with a +9 rating.
Laughton is the man of the hour.
He held a leadership role with Canada, as did he with the Philadelphia Flyers. John Tortorella didn’t name a captain for the Flyers in 2022-2023 and won’t in 2023-2024, but the exception was Laughton. The ‘A’ is stitched to his sweater because, across hockey, he earned respect.
During group play, Laughton ranked as a top-25 playmaker in the 2023 IIHF World Championships. Canada was 5-1-1, but Laughton notched four assists. Two of those were against Czechia via faceoff wins and crisp passing. His fundamentally sound game proved to be incredibly valuable in the pursuit of gold.
In tournament play, Laughton averaged a point per game. His best performance was against Latvia, where he notched an assist and a goal. First, Laughton won a board battle that resulted in Jack Quinn scoring. Then, he iced any opportunity at a comeback with an empty-net goal. All that remained was a scheduled gold medal battle versus Germany.
Another empty-net insurance goal by Laughton locked down the gold for Canada. It was the first time Laughton represented Canada since the 2014 IIHF World Juniors. He was the captain of that team, which did not medal.
In 2023, Laughton helped Canada become IIHF World Champions. He competed in 10 games, totaling eight points (3G, 5A) and a +7 rating.
(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)