North America Shuts Out Europe in World Cup Tuneup Game

North America Shuts Out Europe in World Cup Tuneup Game

Steven Ellis09 Sep 2016Steven Ellis»
 

Team North America took their first victory before the start of the World Cup of Hockey, dropping Europe by a score of 4-0 on Thursday night.

 
 
 
 

Team North America took their first victory before the start of the World Cup of Hockey, dropping Europe by a score of 4-0 on Thursday night.

North America was all the rage in the first period, taking 10 shots against a slower, older European team. Many people believed that if North America was to take the victory, it would be because of their speed being such an advantage, and it proved to be superior in the first period. Jaroslav Halak, however, was ready for the challenge, stopping all ten shots he faced while the rest of his team struggled to really get their feet moving, including the players who competed at the recent Olympic Qualifications.

It took a while, but North America eventually found a way to beat Halak. At the 3:52 mark of the second, Nathan Mackinnon picked up a rebound opportunity from a shot by Aaron Ekblad before wiring it past Halak and in for the 1-0 goal. It was a big goal for the team, who looked like the much better team throughout the game, but struggled to really find a way to beat their Europe's goaltender to take the lead.

Three minutes later, North America managed to take the two-goal advantage. This time, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins took a shot on net, only to be stopped by 6'9 giant Zdeno Chara. Chara, however, gave the puck right back to Nugent-Hopkins, who took the opportunity to beat a sprawling Halak for an easy goal to give North America the 2-0 lead.

The onslaught continued. At the 8:34 mark of the period, Jack Eichel proved unsuccessful on a scoring chance. Johnny Gaudreau, however, was in a perfect, yet weird, spot for the goal, banging it off of Halak from behind the goal line to make it 3-0 for North America in a game they were running away with.

The third period saw North America take the 4-0 lead. After getting taken down on a powerplay, Mackinnon, who started the game off with the first goal, scored after deking the pants off of Halak, a goal that truly put the game out of reach and gave North America the 4-0 shutout to begin their pre-tournament play.

Both teams will be back in action on Sunday when they meet once again at the Bell Centre in Montreal at 6:30 PM ET. The real tournament begins on Saturday, September 16th, 

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