ESPN's 12-game World Cup of Hockey 2016 pre-tournament schedule will begin Thursday, September 8 with Team Sweden and Team Finland at 12 p.m. ET and the Czech Republic taking on Russia in St. Petersburg at 12:30 p.m. (both on ESPN3). Team Europe and Team North America - comprised of top players age 23 and under from both the United States and Canada - will meet in Quebec City at 8 p.m. on ESPN2 to conclude day one.
ESPN's pre-tournament coverage will be highlighted by two Team USA vs Team Canada contests. Team USA begins pre-tournament play from Columbus, Ohio on ESPNU, Friday, Sept, 9, at 7 p.m. against Team Canada. Saturday, September 10, Team USA travels north for a rematch with Team Canada in Ottawa at 7 p.m. on ESPN3. Team USA concludes its pre-tournament schedule on ESPN with a prime-time game on Tuesday, Sept. 13, against Team Finland in Washington, DC.
BE HERE for Team USA vs. Canada on Friday, September 9!
Team Canada, Team Czech Republic, Team Europe and Team USA are in Group A. Team Finland, Team North America, Team Russia and Team Sweden are in group B.
All coverage on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will also be available to stream live on WatchESPN across computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices via an affiliated video provider.
The two-week World Cup of Hockey tournament begins Saturday, Sept. 17, with a week of group play followed by the semifinals and a best-of-three finals beginning September 27.
Full Pre-Tournament TV Schedule:
Sep 8, 12 p.m., Sweden vs. Finland, Helsinki, Finland, ESPN3
Sep 8, 12:30 p.m., Czech Republic vs. Russia, St. Petersburg, Russia, ESPN3
Sep 8, 8 p.m., North America vs. Europe, Quebec City, Quebec, ESPN2
Sep 9, 7 p.m., Canada vs. USA, Columbus, OH, ESPNU
Sep 10, 10:30 a.m., Russia vs. Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic, ESPN3
Sep 10, 12 p.m., Finland vs. Sweden, Gothenburg, Sweden, ESPN3
Sep 10, 7 p.m., USA vs. Canada, Ottawa, Canada, ESPN3
Sep 11, 6 p.m., Europe vs. North America, Montreal, Canada, ESPN3
Sep 13, 7 p.m., Finland vs. USA, Washington, DC, ESPN
Sep 14, 3:30 p.m., Czech Republic vs. North America, Pittsburgh, PA, ESPN3
Sep 14, 7 p.m., Sweden vs. Europe, Washington, DC, ESPN3
Sep 14, 7:30 p.m., Russia vs. Canada, Pittsburgh, PA, ESPN2
About the World Cup of Hockey
The World Cup of Hockey is a joint effort of the NHLPA and the NHL, in cooperation with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). Eight teams -- Team Canada, Team Czech Republic, Team Europe, Team Finland, Team North America, Team Russia, Team Sweden and Team USA -- will compete in the two-week tournament, featuring more than 170 of the best players in the NHL. All tournament games will be played at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, home of the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs.
The eight teams are split into two Groups, Group A and Group B, for the Preliminary Round (Sept. 17-22), when each team will play its three Group opponents in a round-robin format. Placed in Group A are Team Canada, Team Czech Republic and Team USA, plus Team Europe, a pan-European roster of players from birth countries outside of the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden. The four teams in Group B are Team Finland, Team Russia, Team Sweden and Team North America, a selection of the top players from Canada and the United States who are 23 or under as of Oct. 1, 2016.
The top two finishers in each of Group A and Group B will advance to the Semifinals (Sept. 24-25), where each qualifier will face an elimination game against a team from the other Group. The two Semifinal winners will meet in the Final, a best-of-three series on Sept. 27, Sept. 29 and, if necessary, Oct. 1.