When you mention the World Cup of Hockey, it’s hard not to mention Team USA winning the inaugural tournament and shocking the Canadians at the same time. That’s right, in 1996 the underdog Americans — stocked with scoring pieces like Mike Modano, Brett Hull, Keith Tkachuk and Doug Weight — stunned the hockey world by defeating Wayne Gretzky and Team Canada to secure the gold medal. Not only did they beat Canada, but also the Americans won by a 5-2 margin — officially putting Team USA on the hockey map.
What’s more impressive is that the U.S. finished ahead of the Canadians in group play with a perfect 3-0 record, earning a bye right to the semifinals where they also cruised by Russia. Two years after helping the New York Rangers win the Stanley Cup, goaltender Mike Richter backstopped the Americans to the gold-medal performance, also earning tournament most valuable player honours in the process.
Hull led the 1996 tournament in scoring with 11 points, but it’s Tkachuk who is the Americans’ all-time point-getter with 12 points in 12 games played. The milestone also stood as the tournament’s all-time best heading into the 2016 tournament.
One could argue that American team set the stage for USA Hockey clubs of the future. Today, Team USA is led by Hart Trophy winner Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks as well as San Jose Sharks sniper Joe Pavelski.
Best US Hockey Team Odds
Whether it's a an Olympic game or a World Cup of Hockey matchup, it's imperative to follow Team USA's every move. The Americans won't blow many teams away. Instead, expect their games in the tournament to be very close.
Be sure to use the next game widget, which offers up-to-date live odds, as a helpful tool before putting your money on the Americans.
US Hockey Team Game Schedule
The Americans will have a tough matchup out of the game when the World Cup of Hockey. Team USA will open the tournanment on Sept. 17 against Team Europe, which may be the biggest outsiders at +3300, but are no slouches.
The Americans should be able to squeak past the European club, which features players such as Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks and Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins.
Be sure to follow Team USA's full scedule in order to gain the upper hand before placing your wager.
US Hockey Team Standings Today
Team USA is hoping for a little 1996 magic when the World Cup of Hockey rolls around in September. That was the year the Americans won the tournament but also finished round-robin with a 3-0 record.
The Americans will contend for top spot in round-robin in many competitions.
Be sure to keep track of where Team USA and its upcoming opponents sit in the standings before putting your money down during the World Cup of hockey.
How To Make Money Betting On US Hockey Team
Any team with Patrick Kane on the roster is a sure bet to compete for a championship. That will be the case for Team USA, as Kane will be heavily relied on — along with other key pieces — to carry the squad to another World Cup of Hockey gold medal.
Whether it was by design or not, the Americans were slotted in the same group as tournament favorites and defending champions Canada. This could be a positive thing for the John Tortorella-led Americans, who will definitely be tested early and often — especially when they take on the Canadians early on in the tournament.
Team USA are among the favorites after Canada, Russia and Sweden. Bovada pegs the Americans at +600 to win the tournament outright — a bet that doesn’t seem so far-fetched if Team USA can get strong goaltending from either Ben Bishop or Jonathan Quick, depending on who gets the nod between the pipes.
Quite possibly the biggest surprise heading into the World Cup of Hockey was the decision not to have Pittsburgh Penguins sniper Phil Kessel on the roster. Kessel is a five-time 30-goal man and his offense will be missed on an American roster lacking pure scorers.
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