LAINE GOES POINTLESS

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This article was published 8/9/2016 (1701 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

LAINE GOES POINTLESS

IN FIRST CUP TEST

Patrik Laine didn’t set the world on fire in his first test at the World Cup of Hockey 2016.

The 18-year-old forward, chosen second overall by the Winnipeg Jets at this summer’s NHL Draft, was held pointless Thursday afternoon and didn’t record a shot on goal in Team Finland’s 3-2 overtime win over Sweden in pre-tournament play in Helsinki.

But at 6-4, 205 pounds, it was easy to notice the smooth-skating winger, even when he wasn’t doing anything particularly special.

He skated on a line with a pair of Florida Panthers — centre Aleksander Barkov and winger Jussi Jokinen — and got some time playing the point on the Finnish power play. Barkov scored an unassisted goal with the Swedes a man short in the second period.

Laine, who had just under 15 minutes of ice time, let a couple of quick shots go that bounced off bodies in front of the net.

Pittsburgh Penguins’ defenceman Olli Maatta scored the winning goal with 47 seconds left in the three-on-three overtime session.

All eyes are on Laine as he’s expected to make a hefty contribution to the Finnish squad when the World Cup of Hockey officially begins Sept. 17 in Toronto, and later when he debuts with the Jets during the 2016-17 NHL campaign.

DADONOV SNIPES WINNER FOR RUSSIANS

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Russia held off the Czech Republic 4-3 in their first warmup for the World Cup of Hockey on Thursday.

Forward Artemi Panarin got the Russians going late in the first period to tie the score after Czech defenceman Michal Kempny scored the opening goal.

Forwards Vladimir Tarasenko and Nikita Kucherov scored second-period goals for a 3-1 Russian lead.

Centre Martin Hanzal got one back for the Czechs on a power play 6:48 in the third, and Evgeny Dadonov restored a two-goal advantage two minutes later.

Czech captain Tomas Plekanec cut it to one again with 2:47 left.

The two meet again in another warmup Saturday ahead of the tournament.

mcdavid gets nod

for n.a. captaincy

QUEBEC — Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid was named captain of Team North America in the World Cup of Hockey Thursday.

The 19-year-old McDavid had 16 goals and 48 points in 45 games last season. He was drafted first overall in 2015.

Philadelphia forward Sean Couturier and Florida defenceman Aaron Ekblad will serve as alternates for the team made up of Canadian and U.S players age 23 or under as of Oct. 1.

"On a team full of future NHL captains, we have a strong leadership group,’’ coach Todd McLellan said.

unemployed roy

enjoying his time off

QUEBEC — Patrick Roy, unemployed since resigning as coach and vice-president of hockey operations of the Colorado Avalanche, says he plans to enjoy his first winter off in memory.

"I never really travelled, other than hockey-wise," Roy said Thursday at the Centre Videotron. "I’m certainly planning to do some trips.

"It will be very different but I’m excited about it."

Roy, who spent three years behind the Colorado bench, publicly announced his resignation from the club in August, saying he needed more input in decision-making.

He is not seeking another job for the moment and, with a year left on his deal with Colorado, anyone interested in hiring him would need to go through the Avalanche.

"I have a year left on my contract with the Avalanche and right now, I just want to enjoy myself," he said. "It’s been a great journey and it’s nice now to take some time off."

Roy got a big ovation at the packed new arena when he the dropped the puck in the ceremonial faceoff before a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game between North America and Europe.

— staff / news services

Jason Bell

Jason Bell
Assistant sports editor

Jason Bell wanted to be a lawyer when he was a kid. The movie The Paper Chase got him hooked on the idea of law school and, possibly, falling in love with someone exactly like Lindsay Wagner (before she went all bionic).

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