World Cup of Hockey Day 4: Bergeron, Canada end American’s semifinal hopes
Thanks to the surprising 2-0 start by Team Europe, Team USA found themselves in a must-win situation against powerhouse Team Canada last night in Toronto. Anything but a win would have eliminated the Americans from moving out of the round robin stage with one game to go.
Unfortunately as has been the case for Team USA in International play of late, they didn’t have the firepower to compete with Canada.
“Yeah, it’s disappointing, frustrating,” USA head coach John Tortorella told the media following the loss. “All different types of emotions. Yeah, I think we let some people down. It’s on my watch. I certainly feel responsible for that. So yeah, it’s really disappointing.”
The Americans will finish up round-robin play Thursday against the Czech Republic who is also winless in two games.
After Ryan McDonagh got the Americans on the board 4:22 into play, Canada responded with four unanswered goals including three in the first period to eliminate their rivals to the south.
“I thought we had a real good response. Obviously our fourth line was great, real big goal. They got heavy, line got heavy and we got the one off the backboard with the missed slide shot and that was a good play,” Canada head coach Mike Babcock said following the win. “And then pairs go in the net right away, real good set, forecheck. They turned it over and gave it to us. That gave us an opportunity to be in a pretty comfortable spot, so I thought that was good.”
Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron gave Canada some more breathing room midway through the second with his second tally of the tournament. T.J. Oshie’s late third period goal cut the Canada lead to two, but it was too little too late.
Rask starts, loses to Sweden
After losing its first game of the tournament behind Pekka Rinne, Team Finland went with Tuukka Rask for their big tilt with Team Sweden. Although Rask was sharp in the contest, Henrik Lundqvist was that much better as Sweden skated to a 2-0 victory. Rask made 27 saves on 28 shots gave Finland a chance at victory with some pivotal stops.
Former Bruin Loui Eriksson sealed the deal with an empty-net goal, his first of the tournament. Sweden leads Group B as the only team without a loss.
Despite going winless through two games, Finland still has a chance of moving onto the next round, depending on the result of Wednesday’s contest between Sweden and North America.
What to watch for on Day 5
Day 5 presents a big challenge for Team North America. A win by the youngsters will put Russia into a must-win situation on Thursday night in their game against Finland while at worst a point for Sweden will clinch them a spot in the semifinal round.
The biggest contest of the evening takes place between Canada and Europe as first place in Group A is on the line. With their semifinal spots clinched, both teams will be gunning for a perfect record through round robin play.