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2016 World Cup: Finland vs. North America game thread, schedule, lines, and how to watch

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After a lot of excitement and an equal amount of criticism, Team North America will finally play its first meaningful game.

Hockey: World Cup of Hockey-Pre Tournament-Team Czech Republic vs Team North America Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After initially being seen as a gimmick to generate interest in what was seen as glorified pre-season matches, people slowly began to come around to the idea of a team made up of players under the age of 24 at the World Cup. When they exploded out of the gate in their first game for five goals on Team Europe, the predominant feeling surrounding the team became one of excitement.

Tonight, the team will finally play its first preliminary match of the World Cup of Hockey, and they have the skill to come away with a win.

It’s not going to come easy, as the Finns are famous for being a tough team beat in international competition, using a team approach to defence that always has them in position to repel opposition attacks, with the ability to capitalize on any mistakes made by their adversaries.

Their biggest threat is another young player — Patrik Laine — who is just 18 years old and a recent addition to the NHL ranks. He could play a major role in Finland’s success, being a key contributor on the power play with his elite shot.

Puck drop is at 8:00 PM EDT at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario

How to watch

In Canada (French): TVA Sports

In Canada (English): Sportsnet

In the United States: ESPN2

Stream: Watch ESPN

These lineups are subject to change, and we will update if there is any news.

Team Finland Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Center
Right Wing
Patrik Laine Aleksander Barkov Jussi Jokinen
Mikael Granlund Mikko Koivu Joonas Donskoi
Valtteri Filpulla Jori Lehtera Teuvo Teravainen
Lauri Korpikoski Erik Haula Leo Komarov
Left Defense
Right Defense
Olli Maatta Rasmus Ristolainen
Jyrki Jokipakka Sami Vatanen
Esa Lindell Ville Pokka
Goaltenders
Pekka Rinne
Tuukka Rask

Team North America Projected Lineup
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Auston Matthews
Connor McDavid Make Scheifele
Jonathan Drouin Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Nathan MacKinnon
Johnny Gaudreau Jack Eichel Dylan Larkin
Vincent Trochek Sean Couturier Brandon Saad
Left Defense
Right Defense
Morgan Rielly Aaron Ekblad
Shayne Gostisbehere Colton Parayko
Ryan Murray Seth Jones
Goaltenders
John Gibson
Matt Murray