By Jacob Hagias - SonsofHockey.com Staff Writer
Toronto - One day after winning game one of the World Cup of Hockey, Team Canada finds themselves one win away from winning the tournament. Despite giving Canada their toughest game of the tournament on Tuesday night, Team Europe lost the game 3-1. Both teams played very well in game one but at the same time, each team had moments of weakness. Team Europe and Team Canada have to make adjustments in their game plan if they want to have more success tonight.
Team Canada did not face too much adversity throughout their first four games of the tournament. Canada was able to dominate during the round robin and semifinal scoring nineteen goals as well as only allowing six goals against. Another big contributing factor to Canada’s success was the excellent play of their defense. The defense was able to keep the puck out of their zone as well as moving the puck up to the offense as quickly possible. Tuesday night was a different story as Team Europe had many moments of dominant play throughout the game but their inconsistency prevented them from overtaking Team Canada. Team Europe’s costly turnovers and poor defensive zone play led to goals for Canada, making it harder for them to comeback. For Europe to be more successful in game two, they have to be more consistent with their play. If Europe limits how many turnovers they have and have constant pressure for three whole periods, they can steal a win and shock Canada.
During Europe’s moments of good play, Canada really struggled especially in the second period. Canada did not have an answer for Europe’s constant pressure which led to their struggles. The Canadians did not play hard in the first half of the second period and Europe was able to capitalize with a goal. If Canada wants to win the World Cup of Hockey for the first time since 2004, they have to make sure they do not let up after getting an early lead. If Canada can get to an early lead, they could play a physical, defensive, and shutdown game for the rest of the game and could win the game.
Game two will feature two teams hungry for victory. One team will be battling for their lives and the other will be battling to stay on top of the world of hockey. Despite not having a long history of competition against each other, both teams are heading into the game with a high level of intensity as if they have been rivals for years. Game two should be just as exciting as game one so make sure to watch the game tonight at 8:00 PM on Rogers Sportsnet 360.
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