September 21 2016 09:48PM
While both of tonight's World Cup of Hockey combatants entered their showdown with a spot in the semi-finals assured, there were high stakes at play for this clash between Canada's hockey establishment and the European conglomerate cobbled together for this tournament's sake.
A win tonight and the victor would avoid Team Sweden and wait out a match with Team North America or Team Russia -- opponents that seem favourable relative to the Tre Kronor.
With tonight's 4-1 victory, Canada now awaits either their time honoured cross-Atlantic rivals in Russia or some of their country's young in the semi-finals. And they made it look so, so easy. Without Shea Weber, Ryan Getzlaf and Carey Price, the Canadians dispatched Europe in short order, outshooting Europe 46-20 in the process.
September 21 2016 06:23PM
Credit: Kevin Sousa of USA TODAY Sports
Exhale, everybody. That was undoubtedly the best game of the tournament so far, and if you were watching, count yourself lucky. It will probably end up being the best game of the tournament, period. With a semifinal berth at stake, Team Sweden and Team North America turned in a high-octane thriller that ended in a fitting fashion: An electrifying 3-on-3 OT with end-to-end rushes, dramatic saves, and a beauty of a game-winning goal.
If you missed this one, you'll want to go ahead and watch a replay of the entire game, because this matchup was one for the ages. Sure, there's no history or bad blood between Sweden and this North America team, but there was a whole lot of skill and talent on the ice between the two teams, and we sure saw plenty of it.
September 21 2016 05:53PM
Canada and “Europe” are both bound for the playoff round of the World Cup, but that doesn’t make this final game of the preliminary round meaningless. The winner finishes the group segment with a perfect record; the loser draws Sweden in the semifinal. It’s a game worth winning.
September 21 2016 01:41PM
We knew Auston Matthews was good. Maybe great. Maybe super duper great. But we still had a level of expectation that his greatness would develop over time; not begin to take over the hockey world before it started.
Well, we should probably start adding nitrous oxide to our hype train, because today's goal just sent things into overdrive.
September 21 2016 09:52AM
Team North America lost a heartbreaker to Russia in their previous game, completely outshooting and outchancing Ovechkin and pals in the final frame only to come up one goal short. The upstart young stars team has been full value so far this tournament, providing entertaining, high-octane hockey that puts their opponents on their heels.
The kids face a stiff test in Team Sweden today, however. The Swede's roster is filled with NHL stars, both of the grizzled vet and young star variety. Sweden's blueline is especially imposing, featuring Erik Karlsson, Hampus Lindholm, Victor Hedman, Oliver Ekman-Larrson and Anton Stralman.
Team North America started to look like a Cinderella story in the making after an impressive start to the tournament. Can they get past Sweden today or does the fairy tale end?