EDITOR'S NOTE: Longtime Coyotes Video Coach Steve Peters is taking part in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey as Video Coach for Team North America. Peters is chronicling his experience at the world-class tournament with reports here at ArizonaCoyotes.com. Here's his sixth report:
TORONTO -- It's Thursday morning in Toronto and all Team North America can do is wait. After Wednesday's thrilling win over Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Team Sweden in overtime, Team North America needs help to continue on to the semifinals.
If you missed the game on Wednesday night between Team North America and Team Sweden, you missed an instant classic. The first three minutes of the game was the most exciting start to a hockey game I have ever seen, period. There were two goals, a penalty shot, breakaways and great saves, and that was just in the first three minutes! And if you want to get a little taste of the speed and excitement that this team comprised of the NHL's young stars brings, try to find and watch the 3-on-3 overtime period. No one inside the Air Canada Centre were in their seats when Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche beat All-World goaltender Henrik Lundqvist with one of the best toe-drags you will ever see. As a hockey fan, this game had everything, and all within the hockey world are buzzing and tweeting about it. I spoke with Coach Dave Tippett after the game and he said that in all his years in coaching, the game last night was the most fun he has ever had behind the bench in an international competition. I have to agree, that was the most exciting hockey game I have ever been a part of.
Unfortunately, the OT win did not guarantee Team North America's advancement into the semifinals - we needed to win in regulation to assure advancement with the OT win. All eyes at the Team North America hotel will be on this afternoon's game between Finland and Russia. With a Team Finland win, Team North America will move on to a Saturday night showdown against Team Canada. If Team Russia wins, we will all be booking flights and headed home. Hockey fans are eager for the possibility of a Team North America vs. Team Canada matchup, as the 'Young Guns' have become the darlings of the tournament and as a hockey fan myself, I can't wait for that dream matchup. Go Team Finland!