Team USA can thank the Minnesota Wild for this goal

Team USA can thank the Minnesota Wild for this goal

Meanwhile, the USA was doing everything they could to get Canada off their game.

There is something about the red maple leaf - this particular version more like a bleached marijuana plant - and the stars and stripes that seems to encourage bad behaviour. Jokipakka had no points and 17:18 of ice time for the Finns.

Team North America's narrative will be one of the most intriguing ones to watch as these players not only come from warring hockey nations, but also are inexperienced internationally. Weber, fortunately, was not injured. Forward Claude Giroux told reporters before the puck was dropped he was fine to play but he wasn't 100% after a hit from Joe Pavelski.

The U.S. beat Canada 4-2 on Friday night in Columbus, Ohio.

This bit of nastiness arrived after Sidney Crosby crosschecked Kyle Palmieri from behind and raised the benches' temperature.

The first game of the tournament, Team Europe vs. Team USA, is scheduled for September 17 at 3:30 p.m.

Tortorella was OK with his team's performance.

The coaches had good reason for concern.

GOTHENBURG, Sweden - Loui Eriksson and Patric Hornqvist scored twice each to lead Sweden past Finland 6-3 in the Scandinavian rivals' second warmup game for the World Cup of Hockey on Saturday.

The challenge appeared to rile the Americans, who soon were into a string of three penalties. Will the players play for pride of country when they're not even wearing their country's sweater?

Animosity boiled over several times, like in the first period when Canada's Sidney Crosby cross-checked USA forward Kyle Palmieri. The momentum shifted shortly after the first USA penalty kill and the Americans held an 18-15 shots advantage after the first to go along with a 2-0 lead.

Logan Couture and Jay Bouwmeester also had goals for Canada.

The Americans finally got traction in the opening period when a McDonagh shot pinballed in behind Canadian goaltender Braden Holtby.

In game one of the two-game back-to-back home-and-home series between Team Canada and Team USA, John Tavares featured for 16 minutes of ice-time.

John Tavares started the game off by running Ryan Kesler into the boards. Crawford soon wowed the crowd with a spectacular glove save off American forward James van Riemsdyk. From summer hockey where you're not concentrating on defensive principles to getting your legs, I think I may have fallen five times in the first period just trying to reach for checks being out of position.

The prettiest goal of the night came on a Canadian rush with American defenceman Dustin Byfuglien caught on an ill-advised pinch.

"It was easy to play with him and Nugent-Hopkins, who is a smart, 200-foot player who can make plays". It was a timely reminder that this is, in fact, just exhibition hockey. The score was 5-1 after the first period but Team Europe, which got two goals from Los Angeles' Marion Gaborik, closed to within 5-4 midway through the third. Well this year, hockey fans should be very excited to see global play, and get some competitive, pre-NHL-season hockey. Can they all get on the same page soon enough to compete with teams that have had many years to build some solid chemistry? It looks like (Aaron) Ekblad and guys like that might be all right to me just when I'm watching them play.

Apparently, Jacob Trouba might've gotten a little dirty with Marian Hossa when the latter was injured in an exhibition Thursday.

I put together a post yesterday on how injuries are going to be part of the World Cup of Hockey, and that we as fans need to be willing to accept that for the growth of the game and NHL.

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