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World Cup of Hockey GAMETHREAD: USA vs. Team Europe 9/17/16

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The World Cup of Hockey kicks off with the US taking on the WHOLE OF EUROPE*

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

A Reminder that for the remainder of the Tournament, we will be having separate Gamethreads for each WCOH event as the Round Robin goes on.

USA vs. Team Europe

Time: 3:30 pm EST

Where: Air Canada Center, Toronto, Ontario

Where to Watch: ESPN2, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

Bruins Playing: For Team USA, David Backes will be playing in a depth as center. For Team Europe, Zdeno Chara will either be playing as a #2 or #3 defender on the first or second pairing, respectively.

Preview:

Team USA has spent the tournament surprising many who watch them. They frequently get outshot and spend tons of time in their own end, but if they can break through and get one or two goals on you, they make your life miserable from the onset. Who cares if they're getting shelled? They have Ben Bishop and Jonathan Quick. And their scorers are a host of great talents: Parise, Pavelski, Kane (ugh.), and leading scorer Derek Stepan!

Wait wha-

Meanwhile Team Europe has..unfortunately looked exactly like how the hockey world thought they might. Slow, old, broken, and not enough players in their prime to hopefully drag them to a respectable tournament.

Or do they?

Leon Draisaitl, a product of Germany, topped out on a hat trick on wednesday, and quickly ended up the highest scoring player on Team Europe. Indeed, he and Team Europe looked fantastic against Sweden, who were a favorite to take Canada to the limit. This surprised most people, especially coming from a team that was apparently doomed from the onset. Team Europe will have to use every bit of the momentum they have in this tournament to stay ahead of the game here.

Lines:

Team USA's Lineup graphic is here, Team USA's starting Goalie is expected to be Jonathan Quick, but Ben Bishop is just as likely.

Team Europe Lineup graphic is here, Team Europe's starting Goalie is Jaroslav Halak

Reminder that everything is subject to change, and that lines may switch at the drop of a hat. Check Social Media for other listings, especially Team Europe's twitter account.

So, World Cup of Hockey begins for keeps! What's on tap?