By Mitch Cole (@DirtyWaterBuzz)
We’re about, oh, 12 or so minutes from puck drop here in Toronto at the Air Canada Center. The young guns of Team North America will be facing off against the consistently very good Team Finland. It’ll be very interesting to see if North America can live up to the hype that they built during the pre-tournament exhibition games, as many expect them to, at the very least, contend for a spot in a medal game.
It wouldn’t be such a bad thing to see North America succeed in this tournament. How often do we get to see a team made up of players that are 23 and under compete on an international stage like this? Not to mention, cheering for North America is like cheering for millennials. And as a millennial myself, I must say, that’s a very good decision if you choose to put your rooting interests in the kids.
Team North America
Auston Matthews – Connor McDavid – Mark Scheifele
Jonathan Drouin – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Nathan MacKinnon
Johnny Gaudreau – Jack Eichel – Dylan Larkin
Brandon Saad – Sean Couturier – Vincent Trocheck
Aaron Ekblad – Morgan Reilly
Ryan Murray – Seth Jones
Shayne Gostisbehere – Colton Parayko
Scratches: JT Miller, Jacob Trouba, Connor Hellebuyck
Patrik Laine – Aleksander Barkov – Sebastian Aho
Mikael Granlund – Mikko Koivu – Joonas Donskoi
Jussi Jokinen – Valtteri Fillpula – Leo Komarov
Jori Lehtera – Erik Haula – Lauri Korpikoski
Rasmus Ristolainen – Esa Lindell
Sami Vatanen – Olli Maatta
Sami Lepisto – Ville Pokka
Scratches: Jyrki Jokipakka, Mikko Koskinen
Bold strategy by Finland to stick with Pekka Rinne in net, who looked less than good in the pre-tournament exhibition games. I’ve no idea why the Finns refuse to roll with Tuukka Rask in net, but I guess they’re going to die by the blade of Rinne for now. It’s also an intriguing decision by North America to scratch Jacob Trouba. I’m not sure who you would scratch in Trouba’s place, though. Ryan Murray, maybe?
1:37: Shayne Gostisbehere is North America’s first bad boy of the night, as he takes a penalty for roughing. Or hooking. I’m not sure. I heard the officials say one thing, and the press box PA announcer say another. I’m very confused already.
4:23: Jori Lehtera goes to the box for high sticking Shayne Ghostisbehere. Ghost Bear redeems himself by drawing said penalty. North America gets their first chance on the man advantage. Let’s see how it goes.
5:03: Man, does North America work fast. Just 40 seconds into the power play and Jack Eichel puts one home to give Team Millennial a 1-0 lead. This team is already fun to watch.
8:03: Mark Scheifele takes a high sticking penalty. Smh, damn kids. When will they learn?
10:03: They’re playing the song “Let Me Take a Selfie” over the speaker system here at the ACC. I want to die. Send help. This song is so bad.
16:01: I couldn’t tell you when it happened, but Rasmus Ristolainen and Pekka Rinne managed to accidentally team up to make a pretty big stop for the Finns.
18:23: Captain North America puts the Millennials up 2-0. Though the officials are reviewing it, so it may be only temporary
18:23: Yup, the goal is waved off after review. Officials determined there was goaltender interference. It remains 1-0 for the children of the mid-to-late 90’s
End of First Period: #TeamMillennial looks really good so far tonight. The Finns seemed to control a lot of play early on in the period, but North America picked up and has really been taking it to Finland.
20:00: #TeamMillennial wins the opening faceoff and Triple-H’s music finally subsides without an appearance from the wrestling legend. A real disappointment, honestly.
5:27: North America scores to make it 2-0. Johnny Hockey tips a shot from Colton Parayko in front and the children are in control of this game now.
7:27: That didn’t take long. Jonathan Drouin from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins makes it 3-0 for the kids. Man is this team fun to watch
12:00: Are millennials ruining the World Cup of Hockey? My column:
16:37: This is just getting ugly for the Finns. Team Millennial is wiping the floor with them right now. Nathan MacKinnon from Colton Parayko for a 4-0 North American lead
15:06: “Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred plays over the speakers at the ACC. Our own Hunter Crowther claims that this song is “his jam”. This is immediately followed by AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” which is definitely a song that I very much enjoy.