Hockey World Cup Betting 2016 Results: Thursday Highlights and Reaction

Hockey World Cup Betting 2016 Results Thursday Highlights and Reaction

One final day of round-robin play at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey determined the fourth and final team to advance to the semifinals.

Following the confirmation of Canada, Sweden, and Team Europe for the next round, Russia took control of its destiny on Thursday. A win would secure the final semifinal spot in Group B. After a thrilling overtime win over Sweden on Wednesday, the under-23 North American team would advance if it gained less than two points.

The United States will conclude its disappointing tournament against the Czech Republic in an anticlimactic Group A game on Thursday night.

Here are Thursday’s updated results and the current standings:

Finland 3, Russia 0

Russia eliminated Team North America and advanced to the Group B semifinals by defeating Finland 3-0, with goals from Vladimir Tarasenko, Ivan Telegin, and Evgeni Malkin.

Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets recorded a shutout, stopping all 21 shots fired by Finland.

Many hockey fans outside of Russia were rooting for Finland to win their first game of the tournament in order for North America to advance.

According to Yahoo Sports’ Greg Wyshynski, the Boston Bruins and Finland goalie Tuukka Rask will lead the charge:

For the defensive-minded Finland, offense was at a premium to start. Both the Finns and the Russians had four shots on goal in the first ten minutes of the game.

Russia could muster only one shot in the final 10:43 of the period after going four minutes without a shot. However, Finland’s offense appeared disjointed and unable to capitalize on its power plays.

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Regardless, Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times praised Finland’s efforts despite the fact that they had already been eliminated:

After Russia squandered a power play to begin the second period, Finland’s best chance came from Mikael Granlund of the Minnesota Wild, whose wrist shot grazed off Bobrovsky’s crossbar.

With 16:18 remaining in the second period, Washington Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin meandered into the Finnish zone, distracted three defenders, and slotted a pass to an unmarked Tarasenko.

An easy tap-in with a wide-open net gave Russia a 1-0 lead, according to the Capitals:

Russia doubled its lead just 1:19 later when Telegin received a pass from Vadim Shipachev, dragged the puck around Rask, and stuffed it home, according to Sportsnet:

It was a devastating blow to North America’s hopes, and TSN’s Nabil Karim predicted panic:

Team North America, on the other hand, was hoping for a third-period comeback by the Finns:

What is the worst hockey lead? #WCH2016 I’m looking for a friend.

But Russia’s hopes were dashed 3:39 into the period when Malkin came down the left wing and snapped a wrister past Rask, who was off his angle.

Lazerus was dissatisfied:

TSN’s Kristen Shilton, on the other hand, saw it as an opportunity for North America to grow:

According to Sportsnet Stats, this is Finland’s first loss in a major senior tournament since the 1987 Canada Cup. In three games at the World Cup of Hockey, it was outscored 9-1.

Russia’s reward for making it this far is a harsh one: it will face host Canada in the championship game on Saturday.

Reactions Following the Game

According to Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press, Ovechkin didn’t waste any time looking ahead to Saturday’s semifinal against Canada:

This rekindles an international rivalry with Canada captain and Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby, who has been drafted in 2004 and 2005, respectively.

The last time these two met in a major international tournament, Crosby and Canada beat Ovechkin and Russia 7-3 in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

According to TSN’s Mark Masters, Ovechkin is trying to keep the game out of his head:

Ovechkin on the 2010 Winter Olympics: “It had been a long time. You can’t think about what happened in the past; you have to think about what will happen in the future.”

Whatever happens on Saturday night, hockey fans will witness a titanic clash between two world superpowers and two of the best players on the planet.

United States 3, Czech Republic 4

The United States flopped in a tournament where it was considered one of the favorites to make the final four. The US finished the tournament with a 4-3 loss to the Czech Republic on Thursday night.

Following defeats to Europe and powerhouse Canada, Thursday’s game was merely a formality, as the red, white, and blue had already been eliminated.

The Czech Republic salvaged a point against Europe, but it was also on its way home following its game against the United States.

According to Wyshynski, it did not create the most electrifying atmosphere for a prime-time game:

Lazerus didn’t do much better on the ice, either, as the teams went scoreless for the first 13 minutes of the game:

With a delayed penalty on the United States looming, Zbynek Michalek of the Arizona Coyotes sent in a shot from the point that beat Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop with 7:17 left in the first.

The United States goalie’s vision was hampered by a screen set up in front of him by Michalek’s Coyotes teammate Martin Hanzal.

The Americans, however, found an answer quickly when they were able to capitalize on a power play. A great setup 1:45 after Michalek’s goal presented San Jose Sharks star Joe Pavelski with a golden opportunity, which he converted, according to USA Hockey:

Pavelski’s goal was an unusual sight, especially for Wyshynski, given that it was the US’ third goal of the tournament:

The Czech Republic took the lead in the second period after Wild defenseman Ryan Suter hit the puck into his own net during a scrum in front.

Zbynek’s younger brother, Milan Michalek of the Toronto Maple Leafs, was the last to touch it for the Czechs and was credited with the goal.

Michael Grey, a radio host, was blunt in his assessment of Team USA:

With 5:47 remaining in the second period, Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader scored for the Americans. He received a perfect pass from Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, whose long, cross-ice dish was right on the tape of Abdelkader’s stick as he one-timed the shot past Detroit Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek, according to Sportsnet:

However, the wheels fell off for the US, specifically Bishop, in the final 3:10 of the period.

Andrej Sustr, Bishop’s NHL teammate from the Czech Republic, put his team ahead when he caught the American goalie straying from his post and slotted a difficult-angle shot into the back of the net.

After that goal, the Toronto Star’s Bruce Arthur wasn’t kind to the Americans:

If Andrej Sustr scores against you, something is wrong with your national program.

Milan Michalek scored his second goal of the game just 39 seconds later, putting the Czechs up 4-2 as he roofed a shot over Bishop, completely deflating the Americans heading into the third period.

It also marked the end of the Lightning goalie’s career, as New Jersey Devils netminder Corey Schneider and his patriotic pads made their World Cup of Hockey debut to begin the third period, much to the delight of his NHL teammates:

Whether it was the pads or an intermission talk, the United States was able to cut its deficit to one just 2:22 into the third period while down a man when New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh converted a pass from Jets captain Blake Wheeler for his second goal of the tournament, according to USA Hockey:

But, as time ran out for the Americans, David Larkins of the Winnipeg Sun took one last shot at the team and its fans:

The Americans are the only teams at the World Cup of Hockey who did not record a single point in their three round-robin games, joining Finland. It was also the first time in 13 best-on-best tournaments that the US did not win, according to the ESPN telecast.

Reactions Following the Game

Three goals were insufficient for the Americans and head coach John Tortorella, who has been looking for answers this week, according to Jeff Veillette of The Nation Network:

However, he appeared to be pleased with his offense on Thursday, according to the NHL:

While it is unknown whether Tortorella will return to Team USA’s bench for the 2018 Winter Olympics, it is safe to assume that this team will undergo significant changes over the next two years.


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