The World Cup of Hockey 2016 began with eight teams entering the tournament and, at the end, only two remain. Though everyone expected Canada to remain, pretty much no one saw Team Europe advancing to the Finals.
Canada and Europe will now engage in a best-of-three championship series, with the games scheduled for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (if necessary). First to get two wins hoists the trophy at the Air Canada Centre.
Team Europe, comprising of players from eight nations–Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia, France, Denmark, Norway, Slovenia and Austria, will face Team Canada for their first match on Tuesday, September 27. The puck drops at 8 p.m. ET and will be televised by the ESPN family of networks. The live streaming will be available on WatchESPN and ESPN app.
Canada remains a powerful favorite to win the World Cup of Hockey Final as they sit at the top of the hockey food chain. The Canadians reeled off 14 consecutive international victories since Sweden won Olympic gold in the 2006 Torino Olympics. Besides, theirs is the only team to have gone unbeaten so far in the tournament. Canada won against Team Europe, 4-1, in the preliminary round.
Team Europe, meanwhile, was never even considered to be a part of the conversation opening the eight-team tournament. Europe did pick up quite a bit of steam since then and earned its way in the medal round and upset Sweden, 3-2, Sunday in overtime.
Historic Upset Possible?
Team Europe seems to be the heavy underdogs going into the Finals against the mighty Canadians. It may seem a foregone conclusion that Canada may win but a historic upset can be expected too. Europe knocked off a very deep Sweden squad in the semifinals so with a minor miracle, they stand a chance of winning the title.
With Europe?s head coach Ralph Krueger experience and knowledge, they might be able to pull over a win. All Europe needs to do is slow down Canada’s attack and the series is theirs. The goaltending is the key here and with Jaroslav Halak?s 142 saves on 150 shots, Europe just might get through the game.
Europe vs. Canada, Game 1:
Date: Tuesday, September 27
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Venue: Air Canada Centre, Toronto
TV: ESPN, CBC, TVA Sports
Live Stream: WatchESPN/ESPN app
Canada vs. Europe, Game 2:
Thursday, September 29, 8 p.m. ET
Canada vs. Europe, Game 3 (if necessary):
Saturday, October 1, 7 p.m. ET