2016 World Cup of Hockey Report (Day 4)

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It was rivalry night at the World Cup as the two biggest group stage rivalries took place in the two games on Day 4.

The games were also going to be a big part of the history between the teams playing as they both meant something this time around.

After all, rivalries may be formed by geography but they are developed by playing important games in every tournament.

With the group stage being so short games have become even more important including the game on the fourth day.

First up was the Scandinavian rivalry between Sweden and Finland who have fought for superiority in their region for years.

Both have been up and down in the rankings and both have won plenty of championships.

Often they have to face each other for a chance at winning a tournament and that has only added to the rivalry between the neighbours.

This time around the game was essential for both teams if they were hoping to get into the playoffs at the end of the round robin.

Finland had yet to win a game and needed two points to even have a small chance at making the playoffs.

Meanwhile, a loss by Sweden would put them into a four-way tie in the group and a win could put them into first with one more game to solidify the tip spot in the group and controlling their own fate in the tournament.

Henrik Lundqvist came through for his country in a big way saving 36 shots to get the win and give the Swedes four points, putting them on top of the group.

The Finns lost any small hope of a playoff berth with the loss in what was a very disappointing tournament for a program that had been doing better than ever before.

More disappointing though was what the Americans were facing going into their games against the Canadians.

The Americans had been caught off-guard by the Europeans who won the game after most thought they were not going to challenge anyone.

People also thought the Americans were going to be a team to beat throughout the tournament with their game against Canada determining the top spot in the group.

Now they needed a win just to stay alive in the playoff hunt as a loss would eliminate them from the playoffs.

The Americans seemed to be more determined to take a win but the Canadians were just too good.

Canada won the game 4-2 and moved into the playoffs and eliminate their long-time rivals in the Americans.hockey-sidebar

The loss for the Americans was an extremely disappointing one as USA Hockey has not had the performances they expect from their teams.

Talk surrounds the hockey world about the Canadians being caught in terms of talent in the NHL and around the world.

For the first year, 2015-16 saw more international players than Canadians in the NHL and a big chunk of that is the Americans.

They have been producing better players every year and they are getting better at developing the sport throughout the country.

Yet on the international stage, it doesn’t seem to matter as they can’t seem to put things together to get the important wins.

The sport is doing better than ever before in the USA and yet they can’t translate that to success in the international game.

The last few tournaments they have been in they have fallen short of what they have been expected to do on the ice.

The same can be said for this tournament as the Americans were expected to compete for the championship with a solid team.

After their loss to their rivals, they are out of the tournament and although they have one game left it won’t do anything for them except maybe to save face and take at least one win.

This tournament was supposed to feature the best of the best and even with that the Americans couldn’t find their way to the playoffs.

After the rivalries in Day 4, a lot more came clear as Group A has almost everything figured out while Group B has a big few days coming to determine the final playoff teams.

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Day 4:
Sweden 2-0 Finland
– The Finns didn’t have a great chance at the playoffs this year after dropping their first game but they still had a shot if they could beat the Swedes but the young team couldn’t get past Henrik Lundqvist taking their second loss

Canada 4-2 USA
– The Canadians once again made due on the promise that they were the best team in the tournament as they easily got by the Americans who needed this win to stay alive and with the loss were eliminated from the playoffs

Day 5:
North America vs. Sweden (Wednesday, September 21st; 3:00 pm ET)
– The Swedes are looking for first place and they need this win to lock it up while the North Americans are simply trying to find their way to the playoffs and a win would be big for their chances

Europe vs. Canada (Wednesday, September 21st; 8:00 pm ET)
– The Canadians finish out their round robin with a test against Europe as everyone will truly see just how good the Europeans are against the best team in the tournament as this game will determine the top team in Group A

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