Hockey fans can watch Team USA face off against Russia live online, and find out which team makes it through to the World Hockey Championship finals.
The teams meet Saturday at 1:15 p.m. ET, pitting two teams loaded with NHL talent. Russia and the United States met once already in the tournament, with Russia beating the Americans 4-2 in the group stage.
The matchup is already growing heated. Russian forward Artemi Panarin got things started with a bit of trash talking against the American opponents.
“We’re in a fighting mood to play the Americans,” he said Thursday, via the IIHF. “We need to teach those college kids a lesson.”
He was likely referencing Boston University forward Jack Eichel, one of the top NHL prospects of the last decade and the expected No. 2 pick in this year’s draft behind Connor McDavid. Eichel has had a number of key goals and assists, including the game-winner in overtime to get the United States past Slovakia in the preliminary round.
Russia will also get a boost in the game thanks to the Washington Capitals playoff collapse. The team blew a 3-1 series lead against the New York Rangers, a loss that allowed Alexander Ovechkin to race to the Czech Republic and join his country for the semifinal round.
For the Americans, it’s actually an AHL player who has anchored the tournament run. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, a Winnipeg Jets prospect who played for St. John’s this year, is leading the tournament in goals-against average (1.32) and save percentage (.944).
Fans who watch the Team USA vs. Russia hockey game live online will see an American team whose hopes might be resting on the shoulders of the tournament’s youngest player.
The Sporting News explains.
“For what they lack in star power in comparison to the top-heavy Russians, the Americans make up for it with four strong lines that do it all — check, defend, score. They’re a young team, with one player born before 1987. The best player is perhaps 18-year-old wunderkind Jack Eichel. A Boston University product and likely No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, Eichel proved in this tournament he can play against NHL-caliber competition. With one player among the top 20 scorers at the worlds (Nelson), the U.S. will call on Eichel to raise his game further if it wants a shot at gold.”
Fans who want to watch the Team USA vs. Russia hockey game live online can click here for streaming video through NBC Sports Extra.
[Image via Getty Images/Matej Divizna]