Team North America put on a clinic with five first period goals


After blanking Team Europe in their first World Cup pre-tournament game, Team North America came out and made an even bigger statement in their rematch on Sunday evening in Montreal by scoring five goals in the first period, including four in the first 10 minutes of the game.

Visually, it was a performance that was even more impressive than the scoreboard would indicate.

Thomas Greiss got the start in net for Team Europe and was pulled for Jaroslav Halak after giving up his fourth goal on only eight shots.

He definitely wasn’t great, but goaltending was far from the biggest issue for Europe. It was the fact that the North American team is playing at a speed and pace that the much older — and slower — Europe team simply can not match. It was like watching two teams playing two entirely different games.

Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad scored a pair of goals in the first period, while Dylan Larkin, Johnny Gaudreau and Moran Reilly also added goals.

Gaudreau’s goal was actually the result of Europe defender Luca Sbisa knocking the puck into his own net.

Even when they weren’t scoring goals the speed and talent advantage was noticeable as they kept creating chances off the rush and just blowing past the European defenders.

The North American team, made up of America and Canadian players age 23 and younger, is definitely full of talent and should be one of the most talented teams in the tournament. It will be fascinating to see what they do against some of the better competition in the tournament, whether it’s Canada, the United States, Russia, Sweden or Finland.

So far it seems that the European team is little match for them.