NHL BRIEF: WORLD CUP OF HOCKEY EDITION – SEPT. 19, 2016

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NHL BRIEF: WORLD CUP OF HOCKEY EDITION – SEPT. 19, 2016

Welcome to the “NHL Brief: World Cup of Hockey Edition,” a daily collection of the latest news and notes from the tournament.

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps
Team Sweden 2, TEAM RUSSIA 1
Team North America 4, TEAM FINLAND 1

TEAM NORTH AMERICA SHINES IN WORLD CUP OF HOCKEY DEBUT

Team North America scored three goals in the second period, including strikes by Johnny Gaudreau and Jonathan Drouin two minutes apart, to cruise past Team Finland in its World Cup of Hockey debut.

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 18:  Johnny Gaudreau #13 of Team North America celebrates his goal at 5:27 of the second period against Team Finland during the World Cup of Hockey tournament at the Air Canada Centre on September 18, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 18: Johnny Gaudreau #13 of Team North America celebrates his goal at 5:27 of the second period against Team Finland during the World Cup of Hockey tournament at the Air Canada Centre on September 18, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

* Team North America is comprised of a pool of the best young hockey players from Canada and the United States age 23 or younger as of Oct. 1, 2016. It includes five of the past six No. 1 overall picks in the NHL Draft (Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid, Aaron Ekblad, Nathan MacKinnon and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins) as well as the goaltender of the reigning Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins (Matt Murray).

* Three of Team North America’s four scorers were top three draft picks: Jack Eichel (No. 2 in 2015), Drouin (No. 3 in 2013) and MacKinnon (No. 1 in 2013). The other – Gaudreau – was selected 104th overall in 2011.

* Murray made 24 saves, but fell 4:07 shy of the shutout. He registered 15 of Pittsburgh’s 16 playoff wins en route to its Stanley Cup victory in June (2.08 GAA, .923 SV%, 1 SO).

MARKSTROM, TEAM SWEDEN HOLD OFF TEAM RUSSIA’S LATE RALLY

Team Sweden scored twice in a 2:11 span of the second period and held off a late rally by Team Russia to pick up a victory in its first game of the tournament.

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 18: Gabriel Landeskog #92 and Jacob Markstrom #25 of Team Sweden celebrate their 2-1 victory over Team Russia during the World Cup of Hockey 2016 at the Air Canada Centre on September 18, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 18: Gabriel Landeskog #92 and Jacob Markstrom #25 of Team Sweden celebrate their 2-1 victory over Team Russia during the World Cup of Hockey 2016 at the Air Canada Centre on September 18, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

* Jacob Markstrom, who filled in for a sick Henrik Lundqvist, turned aside 27-of-28 shots. Markstrom won a gold medal with Sweden at the 2013 World Championship and a silver at the 2009 World Juniors, where he was named the best goaltender of the tournament after posting a 1.61 goals-against average and .943 save percentage in five games.

* A pair of No. 2 overall selections in the NHL Draft accounted for Team Sweden’s goals: Gabriel Landeskog (2011 by COL) and Victor Hedman (2009 by TBL). Hedman, along with teammate Anton Stralman, is one of a League-high 12 Tampa Bay Lightning players competing in the World Cup of Hockey 2016.

WHERE THEY STAND
A look at where all eight teams stand following their first games in the World Cup of Hockey 2016:

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Goal Differentials

Group A – Team Canada: +6, Team Europe: +3, Team USA: -3, Team Czech Republic: -6

Group B – Team North America: +3, Team Sweden: +1, Team Russia: -1, Team Finland: -3

* REMINDER: The top two finishers in Group A and Group B – following the conclusion of round-robin play – will advance to a single-game semifinal, where the first-place team from each group will face an elimination game against the second-place team from the other group. Winners of the semifinal games then will advance to a best-of-three final series.

SNEAK PEEK AT MONDAY’S ACTION

All Times Eastern
Team Europe @ Team Czech Republic, 3 p.m., ESPN2, SN, TVAS
Team Russia @ Team North America, 8 p.m., ESPN2, SN, TVAS

TEAMS FACE CRUCIAL SECOND GAMES

Teams play their second games of the World Cup of Hockey 2016 on Monday, with crucial points on the line. Team Europe and Team North America look to build off their successful tournament debuts when they battle Team Czech Republic and Team Russia, respectively. All four matchups over the next two days feature 1-0-0 teams facing clubs that lost their tournament openers in regulation – on Tuesday, Team Finland meets Team Sweden, while Team Canada plays Team USA.

SCOTIABANK WORLD CUP OF HOCKEY FAN VILLAGE HIGHLIGHTS

The Scotiabank World Cup of Hockey Fan Village is open Monday from 2 – 11 p.m.
Among Monday’s highlights:

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* Visit WCH2016.com/fanvillage for complete details.

‘HOCKEY SENSE’ SUMMIT AT HOCKEY HALL OF FAME

The World Cup of Hockey 2016 will host a ‘Hockey Sense’ summit Monday at the Hockey Hall of Fame, beginning at 7:30 a.m. (with full program starting at 8:30 a.m.).

The discussion – focusing on diversity, inclusion and environmental sustainability – will include key members of the hockey community and beyond. Among the attendees will be NHL commissioner Gary Bettman; NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr; NHL alumni Igor Larionov, Willie O’Ree and Mike Richter; two-time Olympic gold medalist Cassie Campbell-Pascall; and Hockey Night in Canada Punjabi announcer Harnarayan Singh.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Team Europe forward Leon Draisaitl and Team Canada forward Matt Duchene each penned blogs for WCH2016.com following their tournament-opening victories . . . Team Canada forward Logan Couture and referee Eric Furlatt both were mic’d up for Saturday’s Team Canada-Team Czech Republic game . . . Click here for sights and sounds from the opening day of the World Cup of Hockey 2016.

www.wch2016.com | #wch2016

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