IIHF Worlds: Avalanche Players Score Goals


Seven Colorado Avalanche players are representing their countries at the IIHF Worlds Championship. Impressively, four of them were tapped to play for Team Canada, which is always well-represented with NHL stars. Indeed, this year as most years he attends, Pittsburgh Penguins legend Sidney Crosby is serving as captain of the team.

However, it was Avalanche players who started scoring early.

First Period

Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, clearly much recovered from his broken foot, got the party started halfway through the first period.

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard brought the puck into the zone. He made a small pass to MacKinnon who, while skating back, fired off a shot that found the back of the net.

When Dallas Stars center Jason Spezza scored three minutes later, MacKinnon earned an assist. He drove the net and took the shot — Spezza popped in the rebound. Less than a minute later, two more Avalanche players got on the board. Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie pinched in — big surprise — and was lurking in the corner. He made a pass to Edmonton Oilers left wing Taylor Hall. Hall whipped the puck to Duchene from behind the Latvian net. Duchene settled the puck and made one of those little shots that looks like nothing. However, Duchene can see when there’s just inches of open net — and capitalize on it. Goal by Duchene, assist by Barrie.

(Big thanks to “Avalanche Forever” for uploading those videos!)

Second Period

Scoring slowed down a tad in the second period — Team Canada only scored two goals. However, MacKinnon continued to show prowess and chemistry with linemates Spezza and Crosby.

LA Kings Tyler Toffoli scored a goal without any Avalanche help — I guess winning a Stanley Cup will do that for you. However, MacKinnon was integral in helping Spezza get his second of the game.

By the end of the second period, MacKinnon was second on the team in scoring with a goal and two assists. (Spezza had the two goals and an assist.)

Third Period

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Team Canada took the foot off the gas pedal in the third period, being up 5-0 and all. Though the Canadians had been making the Latvians look like an AHL team — which, compared to them, they are — Latvia has its pride.

Halfway through the period one-time NHLer and current KHLer Kaspars Daugavins scored on a tip-in. The arena, filled with Latvians (Latvia is a lot closer to Czech Republic than Canada is) erupted with joy. Naturally, the Canadians were just too good to allow the Latvians back in the game, though.

To add insult to injury, with just a few seconds left in the game, Latvia’s Roberts Bukarts hooked Sidney Crosby from behind. Referees in the NHL might not call that as often as they should, but international refs call it all the time. Crosby was awarded a penalty shot.

I felt sorry for Latvian goalie Edgars Masalskis. Of all the players in all the world to get awarded a penalty shot on you, Crosby has to be the last guy you want to face. (Maybe second to last year’s American shootout hero, TJ Oshie.)

Sure enough, Crosby scored with a sick move to put the Canadians up 6-1. It was also the final move of the game.

In the end, Avalanche players represented more than any other team. MacKinnon got his three points, and there was one each for Barrie and Duchene. Team Canada plays again Sunday, May 3, at 8:15 am MDT, taking on Team Germany.

Next: IIHF Worlds for Avs D-Man Zach Redmond

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