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World Cup of Hockey Gamethread: Day 3 | Europe vs. Czech Republic and North America vs. Russia

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It's Gimmick Team Night™!

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Both of the WCOH's new gimmick squads will be in action today!

Team Europe vs. Czech Republic

Where: ACC, TOR, ON, CA

When: 3pm EST

Where to Watch: ESPN2, SN, TVASports

Bruins Playing: Zdeno Chara will be suiting up for Team Europe, usually playing in a #2 role. David Pastrnak will be playing as a winger either in the top six or as a third liner.

Preview:

The Czechs need this game.

While a talented squad, the Czechs got pasted by Canada and have gone almost a week of both exhibition and round robin games without a win. On top of that, with the exception of one VERY early game that was buried deep in your cable subscription, the Czechs have yet to have a game that shows them as a hockey power. They need to look threatening instead of terms like "fiesty", which has been thrown about during their games. The talent on offense is certainly there, it just needs to make headway first and really establish itself.

Team Europe in the meantime, has been experiencing a resurgence in eyeballs looking at them. After beating up on the US for 60 minutes, it seems that this little collection of Europe's finest in hockey have managed to look much better than any preview I wrote or anyone else wrote would say about them. They aren't going gentle into this night. They want to prove something. This game is the perfect opportunity for them to make their statement clear.

Needless to say, this game is going to be awesome viewing if the conditions are just right.

Lines:

The projected lines for Team EU (plus Switzerland) are here, and the starter is likely to be Jaroslav Halak.

The projected lines for Czech Republic are here, and their starter is probably going to be Petr Mrazek.

As always, lines subject to change, check your local social media channels or during the pre-game.

North America vs. Russia

Where: ACC, TOR, ON, CA

When: 8pm EST

Where to Watch: ESPN2, SN, TVASports

Bruins Playing: None, but watch it anyway

Preview:

So Team North America is good at things. Really, really good at things. Making one of the more established teams in the tournament look like fools for having ever played them and definitely looking no worse for wear. They really only exist at this point as a living, breathing highlight reel as they continue to dazzle on both offense and defense (though less so than on offense).

Russia on the other hand, if it wants to be the powerhouse we often think of Russian hockey as, needs a win. And a decisive one. After Team Sweden grinded their souls into a fine powder in a 2-1 loss, it seems that the only person able to get consistent scoring opportunities for the Russians is Alex Ovechkin. Not a bad player to be doing this with to be sure, but the rest of his team needs to get back into the swing of things. Soon. Otherwise things will go haywire for them. What's more, Sergei Bobrovsky is playing out of his mind, having one of the tournament's best SV%'s right now, and almost all of these stellar games have been wasted by poor defense. Russia needs to turn it around tonight or never at all.

Lines:

The Russians projected lines are here, and the starter should be Semyon Varlamov, as Bobrovsky played last night.

Team North America's projected lines are here, and Matt Murray got the start last game, so it will probably be John Gibson in net for Team Youth.

Yet another good day for hockey. What's on tap, friends?