NHL BRIEF: WORLD CUP OF HOCKEY EDITION – SEPT. 26, 2016

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NHL BRIEF: WORLD CUP OF HOCKEY EDITION – SEPT. 26, 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 RESULT

Home Team in Caps
Team Europe 3, TEAM SWEDEN 2 (OT)

TATAR, TEAM EUROPE STUN TEAM SWEDEN TO REACH FINAL

Team Sweden tied the game with 4:32 remaining in regulation, but Tomas Tatar (2-0—2) scored at 3:43 of overtime to propel Team Europe into the final of the World Cup of Hockey 2016.

World Cup Of Hockey 2016 - Semifinals - Europe v Sweden
TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 25: Tomas Tatar #21 of Team Europe celebrates his game winning goal in overtime with Anze Kopitar #11 against Team Sweden at the semifinal game during the World Cup of Hockey tournament at Air Canada Centre on September 25, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. Team Europe defeated Team Sweden 3-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

* Team Europe – a pan-European roster of players from birth countries outside of the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden – features players from eight countries: Germany and Slovakia (6 apiece); Switzerland (4); Denmark (3); and Austria, France, Norway and Slovenia (1 apiece). The combined record of those countries in 17 World Cup of Hockey/Canada Cup games before this tournament was 1-15-1 (West Germany/Germany: 1-9-1, Slovakia: 0-6-0).

* Team Europe defeated Team USA, Team Czech Republic and Team Sweden to reach the final of the World Cup of Hockey 2016. Those countries have combined to win 11 IIHF World Championships, three Olympic gold medals and one World Cup of Hockey championship over the past 25 years.

* Tatar, who also gave Team Europe the lead 12 seconds into the third period, recorded his first two goals of the World Cup of Hockey 2016. He has one overtime goal in 280 career NHL games (regular season and playoffs), for the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 16, 2015 at OTT.

* Jaroslav Halak made 37 saves, including 19 in the third period and overtime, to guide Team Europe into the final. He owns a 3-1-0 record thus far in the tournament, stopping 142-of-150 shots for a 1.96 goals-against average, .947 save percentage and one shutout.

* “[I’m] just so pleased that these peripheral countries in the world of hockey have had an opportunity to compete with the best in the world for the first time in their life and to truly believe in being competitive on the way to a semifinal, and then the overtime showed the belief in the group to get to the final,” said Team Europe head coach Ralph Krueger.

“That’s not possible when these players show up alone at tournaments. They’re forever fighting relegation in world tournaments. They’re forever fighting just to get to Olympic Games, forget about competing for anything at them. And to be in a best-on-best tournament for these countries that are important for the game of hockey, that are future-growth countries for the game, I’m just so pleased for all of them.”

* ICYMI: Click here to watch and listen to Team Europe celebrate its game-winning goal.

WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT?

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SNEAK PEEK AT WORLD CUP OF HOCKEY 2016 FINAL

All Times Eastern

Game 1 – Tuesday, Sept. 27
Team Europe @ Team Canada
8 p.m.
ESPN, CBC, TVAS

Game 2 – Thursday, Sept. 29
Team Canada @ Team Europe
8 p.m.
ESPN2, CBC, TVAS

Game 3 – Saturday, Oct. 1*
Team Europe @ Team Canada
7 p.m.
ESPN2, CBC, TVAS
* If necessary

TEAM CANADA MEETS TEAM EUROPE FOR CHAMPIONSHIP

Team Canada and Team Europe, the top two finishers in Group A during round-robin play, face off in the final of the World Cup of Hockey 2016, which begins Tuesday at Air Canada Centre.

Team Canada is appearing in the final of the World Cup of Hockey/Canada Cup for the eighth time in as many such tournaments (with wins in 1976, 1984, 1987, 1991 and 2004).

Team Europe, meanwhile, is looking to cap its World Cup of Hockey debut with a victory in the final.

* These clubs met in their last preliminary round game on Sept. 21, when Jonathan Toews scored twice – including the winning goal – to power Team Canada to a 4-1 victory and first place in the Group A standings.

* The expected starting goaltenders for this matchup are former Montreal Canadiens teammates Jaroslav Halak (EUR) and Carey Price (CAN). The duo has combined for 80% of Montreal’s regular-season wins over the past eight NHL campaigns (253 of 318).

* Team Canada ranks first among clubs participating in the World Cup of Hockey 2016 with a combined 14 Stanley Cup victories. Team Europe places second in that category with a collective eight wins.

DID YOU KNOW?

Twenty-one NHL teams have at least one player in the final of the World Cup of Hockey 2016, led by five from the San Jose Sharks.

Seven of those clubs feature at least one player on both Team Canada and Team Europe:

* Boston Bruins: Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand (CAN) vs. Zdeno Chara (EUR)

* Chicago Blackhawks: Corey Crawford and Jonathan Toews (CAN) vs. Marian Hossa (EUR)

* Los Angeles Kings: Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin (CAN) vs. Marian Gaborik and Anze Kopitar (EUR)

* New York Islanders: John Tavares (CAN) vs. Thomas Greiss and Jaroslav Halak (EUR)

* Philadelphia Flyers: Claude Giroux (CAN) vs. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Mark Streit (EUR)

* San Jose Sharks: Brent Burns, Logan Couture, Joe Thornton and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (CAN) vs. Mikkel Boedker (EUR)

* Washington Capitals: Braden Holtby (CAN) vs. Philipp Grubauer (EUR)

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

MIC’D UP: Best of Team Europe and Team Sweden . . . Referees Dan O’Halloran and Kelly Sutherland . . . REMINDER: The Scotiabank World Cup of Hockey Fan Village shifts to Maple Leaf Square for viewing parties during the best-of-three final (Sept. 27, Sept. 29 and, if necessary, Oct. 1) . . . Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky closed the fan festivities in the Distillery District with a Q&A Sunday at the Pepsi Live Main Stage.

www.wch2016.com | #wch2016

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