United States head coach Nate Leaman took to Twitter to explain why a barrel with Canada’s logo was spotted in photos from his team after winning the gold medal at the World Junior Hockey Championship.
“Just to be transparent. It was (a) barrel on the ice with our team after the game. It was motivation for our team to take the tournament one game at a time,” Leaman wrote. “I am sure every team had something of motivation. The barrel was ours. No disrespect to Canada who is a great team.”
The blue barrel with the logo appeared in photos that circulated on social media, offending some Canadian hockey fans who had just watched their team lose and thought the U.S. team had pasted the Canadian logo on a garbage bin.
However, as Leaman explained, the barrel wasn’t meant to offend but instead inspire his players to overcome obstacles.
After the controversy began to gain some steam, some of Leaman’s players came to his defence, pointing out it’s a tactic he’s used many times over the years.
The United States beat Canada 2-0 in Tuesday’s gold medal game.