NATHAN MACKINNON SENDS TEAM NORTH AMERICA INTO HYSTERICS
As it turned out, the World Cup of Hockey was a lot of fun. Pricey? Sure. But Team North America – the squad made up of Canadians and Americans aged 23 and under – was always worth face value. Heading into a must-win game against Sweden, the kids from ‘TNA’ showed up with speed and gave the Tre Kronor all they could handle. The game went into overtime and, in a stunning series of events, the puck squirted out front to Avs star MacKinnon, who outwaited goalie Henrik Lundqvist with a series of dekes before burying the puck top-shelf with a backhand. Team North America went nuts, assuming the goal had put them through to the playoff round. Alas, they still needed Finland to beat Russia, and that did not happen. Instead, we ended up with an anti-climactic final involving Team Europe and the inevitable champs from Canada.
MacKinnon, Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews and Matt Murray will never all play together on the same team again, but we’ll always have the high-paced, defensively lax Team North America in our hearts thanks to that goal.