If Connor McDavid and young North American wolves have been the darlings of the Hockey World Cup 2016, Team Europe coach Ralph Krueger has been the history of welfare of the tournament.
The first of its kind vagabond team of players from nine different countries, written off by hockey fans stuffy as a gimmick, tricked his opponents all the way to best-of-three final against Canada.
The team with no anthem advanced beyond Sweden 3-2 when Tomas Tatar of Slovakia, the Detroit Red Wings scored 3:43 into overtime in the semifinals on Sunday afternoon.
Of course, the rebound goal pulled his left skate leak, but there was no movement kicks. The appeal was allowed. Give the club full marks Krueger for the victory. Team Europe has only lost once in four games – a powerful 4-1 defeat to Canada in the preliminary round last Wednesday.
Let’s face it: Team Europe has no chance against Canada in a series best-of-three. But none of the other six teams had a challenge, is to end 14 consecutive wins in Canada the best on-best competition.