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World Cup of Hockey 2016 Game Recap: Team North America dominates Team Finland in 4-1 win

Speed and skill kills. Goodnight, Team Finland.

World Cup Of Hockey 2016 - Team North America v Team Finland Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

I think most hockey fans are cheering for Team North America. Why? Because they represent the anti-old school thinking of veteran leadership, not to mention speed and skill. Well, speed killed tonight. Team North America routed Team Finland in dominate fashion. I really didn’t notice much from Team Finland other than poor goaltending, so that says a lot.

We’ll get onto the recap, but honestly, I think Team North America could compete in this tournament. I’m all in. Screw grit and leadership, this team is fun.

First Period

Despite their blazing speed right out of the gate, Team North America took the first penalty coming from Shayne Ghostisbehere. Team Finland displayed some real nice puck movement, but Matt Murray stood real tall. Side note, these animated boards are distracting, aren’t they?

Team North America drew a penalty and capitalized on a goal from Jack Eichel to make it 1-0 about five minutes in. Auston Matthews displayed great speed and strength on the puck as he skated around one of the Finnish defenders to create a chance which Eichel cleaned up to pull his team ahead. Shortly after, Team NA came close to another goal on a trickle shot past Pekka Rinne, but Ville Pokka saved the day and cleared it out before the puck crossed the line.

Team Finland earned another chance on the power-play, but Matt Murray again showed his status as one of the NHL’s elite young goaltenders, standing tall and neutralizing big chances with his great movement and positioning. Oh hey, look! REF CAM!

Team North America managed to make it 2-0 due to Rinne’s poor puck control, but again, it was deemed no goal due to Matt Schiefele shoving the defender into the goaltender. It was then waved off, and Connor McDavid was robbed of a goal.

At the end of the first, Team North America leads 1-0. Dylan Larkin had a couple of decent looks with the puck, but it didn’t lead to much. The second line wasn’t seeing as much as I would like. If you compare speed, skill, and goaltending, North America owns the game so far. Pekka Rinne was a mess, and Matt Murray was solid. Standout players are Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid for me.

Second Period

It was all Team North America to open up the second period. Team Finland could not get anything set up due to Team NA’s dominating transition game. North America managed to make it a 2-0 game on a goal from Johnny Gaudreau, in a very unfamiliar role, scoring a “greasy goal” in a net front position after a shot from Colton Parayko:

It didn’t take long for Jonathan Drouin to make it a three-goal game. Team Finland had absolutely no answer for Team North America’s speed and transition:

Dylan Larkin and Jack Eichel had a great scoring chance together, but Pekka Rinne made a great save to shut them down. Have I mentioned how fun Team North America is? Oh, I have! Weird.

In the final 10 minutes, Team Finland started to play more structured and create chances in Team NA’s zone. Finland’s sloppy defensive play bit them again in the closing six minutes of the second period — A bad turnover led to a sloppy rebound to another goal from Nathan MacKinnon that basically iced any momentum Finland had:

That did it for scoring in the second period. Team North America absolutely dominated, and Team Finland watched, front row-center. Shots are 31-18, North America. The kids are alright. Second period standout player has to be Colton Parayko. He is absolutely phenomenal.

Third Period

As per usual, Team North America opened up with a lot of speed and elusiveness. Connor McDavid had a ridiculous chance using his speed and skill.. If he would have scored here, it would have been on highlight reels all over the world:

After that, the third period became way more chippy and physical. Dylan Larkin got in the mix after taking a clean hit from Patrik Laine, he then took an offsetting penalty for roughing. Team Finland managed to close North America’s lead to three on a goal from Valtteri Filppula (lol):

All-in-all, Team Finland is not fit to keep up with Team North America’s speed and skill. Despite a chippy third period, Team NA closed out the game 4-1 with very little pushback from the opposition. It’s a young man’s game, folks.


Team North America is set to take on Team Russia tomorrow at 8pm ET. If I’m a betting man, the young legs will prevail. Stay tuned!