Fast teams get off to fast starts, and that is exactly what the Under-23 Team North America did against the hapless Team Finland.
The young guns got off the blocks early and took it to the Finns to the puck all over the ice. Not only did the young guns beat the Finns with pure speed, but they simply out played them in every aspect of the game.
Team North America sent a message to the rest of the teams in the tournament in big, billboard-sized letters: Do NOT overlook us.
After the first period, the young guns led by a score of 1-0, with the lone goal coming off the stick of Jack Eichel. The second period saw the flood gates really start to open. Team North America took absolutely no prisoners, scoring three unanswered goals. Gaudreau began the scoring in the second period, with Drouin following, and finally MacKinnon sliding one past Pekka Rinne to cap the evening’s scoring for the 23-and-unders.
What can I say about MacKinnon? If he’s in front of that net as often as he has been for this tournament so far, Big Nate will be scoring a heap of goals in Burgundy & Blue this season. Not only did he establish himself as a force to be reckoned with his physical play, but he showed just how dominant he can be by seeming to occupy the entire length of the ice throughout his shifts. Paired with equally dynamic players in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jonathan Drouin, MacKinnon should get on the scoreboard quite a bit throughout this tournament.
Be sure to not miss tomorrow night's Team North America game, when Team North America takes on Alex Ovechkin and Team Russia!