Team Canada will now play the waiting game. Funny, because that’s the same game Team North America is also playing.
Granted, TNA is probably far more anxious about their plight in the World Cup of Hockey. The young guns, who have astounded hockey fans with their youth, their speed, and their skill, can still advance to the semifinal round, but they need Finland to beat Russia.
A Russian win, and TNA is eliminated based on the head-to-head match-up. Faltering in the second period versus Russia could prove costly for the young squad.
Team Canada defeated Team Europe — another surprise contender in this tournament — later Wednesday evening by a final score of 4-1 to clinch top spot in the Group A standings.
The Canadians will play either Russia or TNA in the semifinal round. Both would present a dream matchup.
The Canada-Russia rivalry is something we all know about. It goes back decades, from 1972 to 2010 and beyond. Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin has been the narrative for the past few years. It’s never boring. It’s edge-of-your-seat entertainment and angst.
Team Canada vs. Team North America would present something completely new. The storylines are easy to formulate. Stars like Crosby and Jonathan Toews and Drew Doughty that have represented and won for Canada at world junior championships and Olympics versus the emerging stars from both Canada and the U.S. like Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel and Auston Matthews.
And in a one-game, winner-take-all scenario, too. The Canadians have the most depth of any team at this tournament. But both the Russians and Team North America seem capable of pulling off a stunning result in that situation.
The anticipation for either matchup would be immense.
It all depends on what happens between Russia and Finland tomorrow.
The wait will soon be over.