Monday delivered two of the more exciting games of the World Cup of Hockey tournament. With Team Europe facing Team Czech Republic and Team North America facing the juggernaut of Team Russia, fans were not disappointed and treated to 120+-minutes of great hockey. Let's recap shall we?
Martin Hanzel would knot it up at 2 about six minutes later on a power play opportunity taking a bouncing puck coming off the end boards and putting it past Team Europe's goalie, Halak.
The game would go to overtime, and at 2:06, Leon Draisaitl would take a pass from Zuccarello and beat Mrazek blocker side to put the win away for Team Europe. It was Draisaitl's second goal of the tournament.
Halak faced 28 shots in his second tournament win. Mrazek, on the other end, made 38 saves in a game that all but puts the Czech Republic out of contention for the semi-finals.
That save against McDavid is what changed the game for Team Russia.
On the ropes and having no answer to Team NA's speed, the save against the speedster McDavid gave life to Russia and little by little, Russia would wear down the youngsters and catch them flat. Russia would tie up the score when a shot of the post by Vladislav Namestnikov deflected into the goal off Matt Murray's foot while he was outstretched in the goal crease. Evgeny Kuznetzov would make it 2-1 just 50-seconds later. By the time there were five minutes left in the period, Team Russia was up 4-1 over their young counterparts, and Matt Murray was pulled and replaced by John Gibson.
Things would start getting a bit chippy as forward Nathan MacKinnon tried to spark life into, now struggling, Team North America coming to shoves with Russia's Andrei Markov on two instances.
Team NA would have a plethora of Power Play opportunities but could was not able to get anything past Bobrovsky until late in the second period when Morgan Rielly would score followed by a Power Play goal by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins pulling Team NA within one. The late game surge with a pulled goalie and on yet another power play would not be enough to overcome the sluggish second period and Russia would come out victorious.
When asked after the game, MacKinnon said that the team was ..."bad in front of Murray in first period and a half." When Coach Todd McLellan was asked of what he thought of Trouba's performance after the game being thrown in at the last minute, he had this to say:
"I thought he played a hell of a game"
Matt Murray suffered a minor injury during the game in a jammed thumb and was seen taping his hand during a station break. Although he was pulled, he's expected to once again get the nod against team CZ.
Tuesday's action starts at 3pm with Team Finland taking on Team Sweden on ESPN and concludes with a desperate Team USA facing off against Team Canada at 8pm on ESPN.