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Gaudreau nets goal in Team North America 4-0 win over Team Europe

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

Calgary Flames' winger Johnny Gaudreau scored one goal and had two points in Team North America's 4-0 victory over Team Europe in World Cup of Hockey preliminary action on Thursday night.

After a scoreless first period, Team North America came out blazing in the second stanza, ending up scoring three goals against Team Europe.

Just 3:52 into the middle frame, Nathan MacKinnon beat Jaroslav Halak when Aaron Ekblad's shot off the boards landed on his stick and he deposited it into the back of the net. Gaudreau had the second assist on the power play marker.

Centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gave his team a 2-0 lead at 6:22, picking off a Nino Niederreiter turnover close to the blueline, putting a shot on net and then beating Halak when he corralled Zdeno Chara's clearing attempt and had a wide open net to shoot into.

Gaudreau wrapped up the second period scoring spree when his sharp-angle shot from the side of the net slipped underneath Halak. His linemates, Brandon Saad and Jack Eichel, picked up the assists on the play.

MacKinnon picked up his second goal of the game in the third period. He was hauled down by defenceman Mark Streit and scored on the penalty shot.

"We've called Team North America the fastest team in the tournament from the start. Which we also are grateful we're playing them twice," Team Europe coach Ralph Krueger told NHL.com afterwards. "If I was going to have adversity, I'd rather have it right here, right now, so we can have things to work on. We're not embarrassed by the score. We've definitely got to work to change it."

Team North America goaltender Matt Murray made 23 saves in his shutout. Halak allowed four goals on 21 shots.

The two teams will face off again on Sunday in Montreal at 4:00 PM MT. Sportsnet will carry the broadcast in Canada and ESPN3 will carry the broadcast in the USA.

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