Team North America sent quite a message to World Cup competition
Team North America has entered the World Cup of Hockey exactly as advertised: An exciting group of young players stacked with relentless speed and skill.
It’s one pre-tournament game, but what a message they sent to the rest of the competition at this year’s tournament. From start to finish during Thursday’s game against Team Europe, the North American squad dominated.
Their opponents couldn’t handle the pace with which the likes of Connor McDavid -- named captain of the team just prior to puck drop -- and Auston Matthews and Jack Eichel played at.
For what North America might lack in “experience,” they make up for with the way they absolutely fly around the ice.
It was only a matter of time before they finally erupted on the scoreboard, with three goals from Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Johnny Gaudreau in a span of 4:42 during the second period.
Matt Murray recorded the shut out in a 4-0 victory for North America.
MacKinnon capped off the scoring in the third period, beating Jaroslav Halak on an absolutely filthy move to the backhand on a penalty shot.
Because of their speed, North America dictated just about every aspect of the game, particularly in the first two periods. And keep in mind that Dylan Larkin was a healthy scratch.
They owned the puck.
North America forward J.T. Miller was shaken up after blocking a shot during the third period. Miller briefly left the bench to go to the dressing room, but he did return.