The 2016 World Cup of Hockey is underway, and students at California Baptist University are excited to see Team USA compete in the third installment of the tournament.
The NHL-organized event began Sept. 17 and ends Oct. 1. In contrast to previous World Cups, all contests in the 2016 World Cup will be held at the same site at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario.
The World Cup of Hockey was created in 1996 in order to replace the Canada Cup, which used to be the biggest international hockey tournament in the world, beginning in 1976. Since then, the tournament has expanded to seven teams: the national teams of Canada, United States, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden. The “Big Six” were joined by Germany and Team Europe, uniting the rest of the European countries.
The tournament occurred twice on an irregular basis. USA won the cup in 1996 and Canada won it in 2004. This year’s cup is only the third edition of the tournament, after which the tournament will, for the first time ever, be held on a regular basis every four years.
This year’s World Cup is also one of the most popular cups ever, with the event being broadcast in 23 countries all over the world.
Hockey fans at CBU are anticipating the cup.
“It’s a really cool experience to see players from all around the NHL come together on a team to represent for their home country,” said Amy Bideshi, junior chemistry major and diehard L.A. Kings fan.
Bideshi shares the excitement with her roommate, making the house buzz with anticipation. Christina Farrar, junior health science major, said she is very excited for the USA vs. Canada matchup.
“Canada is supposed to be the best in hockey so I think it’ll be a great game,” Farrar said.
Both fans are rooting for Team USA, which lost to Europe 3-0, while Canada defeated Czech Republic 6-0.
Team Canada was projected to win the cup, winning eight out of 11 votes from NHL. com staff members.
Of the eight staffers that predict a team Canada victory was Bill Price, editor-in-chief of NHL. com, with Team Russia trailing as runner up. Sidney Crosby was named torunament MVP in Price’s prediction and others agree.
As for Team USA, the team and fans alike will look to powerhouses such as Patrick Kane, a right winger for the Chicago Blackhawks, to capitalize on opportunities.
John Tortorella, head coach of Team USA and head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, said in a statement to NHL.com that Kane is one of the team’s greatest players.
Kane, alternate captain of Team USA, knows much about the game at only 27 years old. Tortorella said Kane’s leadership on Team USA is crucial. Tortorella also said he wants Kane to take more responsibility during tournament play.
Team USA was eliminated from the tournament Sept. 20 after losing to Team Canada 4-2.