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2016 World Cup of Hockey: Hosts have won 14 games in a row in major competitions


09-27-2016 10:45 BJT

Team Canada, the two-time reigning Olympic champs, and hosts of the tournament will be heavy favourites when they take on Team Europe -- a squad made up of players from 8 different nations.

Team Canada has history on their side, having never lost a best-on-best tournament game ever in the city of Toronto, the site of this year's World Cup. And their coach, Mike Babcock has only won gold as coach of the red and white.

And the Canadians have been far and away the best team in the tournament -- unbeaten through four games, outscoring the opposition by a 19-6 count, including a 4-1 win over the Euros in pool play, but that does not matter now, that it is winner take all.

"They look pretty good to me. I said yesterday, I like their back-end, I like their goaltender, I like their centre-ice. They're organised, they play hard, everyone is playing for the team," said Mike Babcock, Team Canada coach.

"They seem to have really enjoyed one another, they're playing hard for one another. They look like a good team to me and that's who we're playing and we're excited to play them."

"To be honest when we played them (in the Round Robin), I thought they were playing sound hockey and they have been playing that all the way throughout," said Patrice Bergeron, Team Canada forward.

"They have beaten some really good teams and they proved it again yesterday. I knew it was going to be a tough semifinal for Sweden, it was a tough game and now we have to be ready for the finals."


The Euros will be shorthanded, as they will be without Marian Gaborik for the final, the Slovak who scored in the semi-final broke his hand against Sweden, and is unavailabe.

Because of their mash-up assembly, the europeans are embracing their underdog mentality. Coached by Ralph Kreuger, the former NHL coach, is now working with EPL side Southampton as an adviser, he says that the squad is representing all underdogs.

And the three-game final begins Tuesday night in Toronto, or T-O, or the T-Dot, or the 6ix, or the Big Smoke, or Hog town. The city has many nicknames, it is also as referred to as the centre of the Universe by Canadians.

And most Canadians will be glued to their TV sets for this one. Game two of the series goes Thursday night, and if it goes the distance, that is set for Saturday at the Air Canada Centre.

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