San Jose Sharks Assured World Cup Hockey Winner


The San Jose Sharks have secured more international success, as Team Europe will meet Team Canada for the world cup hockey title…

There are five San Jose Sharks playing in the world cup hockey finals that begin Tuesday, Sept. 27. Team Europe ensured that with an upset of Team Sweden Sunday.

The 2016 World Cup of Hockey features a three-game series for the finals. The second game will be Thursday. Finally, a winner-take-all follows Saturday if necessary.

The Sharks are a driving force for Team Canada with Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Brent Burns, Joe Thornton and Logan Couture. Newly-signed Dane Mikkel Boedker is a forward on Team Europe’s roster, composed of eight nations that overachieved to even reach the semifinals.

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Thus, San Jose will have at least one player come to camp (already underway) as a world cup hockey champion. Chances are there will be four.

Team Canada is just too deep at every position. Its scratched players are better than 15 players Team Europe dresses every night.

This only makes Team Europe more impressive, not less. Team Sweden was supposed to be Team Canada’s primary competition and could not get past a team populated with multiple players no NHL team has deemed worth signing.

San Jose Sharks
Mikkel Boedker (shown with the Arizona Coyotes) is part of world cup hockey’s biggest surprise, Team Europe. Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

The first period was scoreless. Team Sweden got on the board first just 2:31 into the second period, but Team Europe tied it 3:33 before that intermission and took the lead 12 seconds after it.

Team Sweden’s stars answered with 4:32 remaining in regulation: Erik Karlsson from Daniel and Henrik Sedin. However, Tomas Tatar scored his second goal and Anze Kopitar his second assist of the game 3:43 into overtime to advance.

Team Europe looked slow in the pre-tournament competitions, but goalie Jaroslav Halak has a .947 save percentage in the games that count. He has allowed just eight goals over the four contests.

He has been good enough carry his team to the finals. Now Team Europe must prove it can match up against Team Canada better than Wednesday’s 4-1 loss might indicate.

Competitive games will be good for the Sharks, but injuries would not. New players like Boedker need time with teammates in training camp. Thus it is probably good the World Cup of Hockey semifinals will be over in two games, with at least one by a single goal.