Drew Doughty was able to make a statement in Game 1 of the World Cup Finals against Team Europe on Tuesday.
With 6 and a half minutes left in the 3rd period and Team Canada leading by 2, Europe was rushing into the offensive end to try and make something happen. As they entered the zone, Frans Nielson had the puck swiped away from him by Doughty, and he skated into the corner to try and retrieve it. Doughty also went after the puck himself and was able to lay out a solid check on Nielson before he could make a play. The hit turned out to be helpful as Canada went on to win the game 3-1.
Doughty hit on Nielsen pic.twitter.com/brOGkmAsBr
— steph (@myregularface) September 28, 2016
Doughty, 26, is entering the prime of his career and is proving to the hockey world why he is one of the best defenders in the game today. Spending this past season with the Los Angeles Kings, the 2016 Norris Trophy winner registered 14 goals, 37 assists, and 51 points in 82 games. Gritty plays like his body check on Nielson will no doubt keep Kings fans and Canadians entertained for hopefully the next decade.
With the win, Canada now has a 1-0 lead in this best of 3 World Cup Finals. They can win the tournament when they face off against Team Europe for Game 2 on Thursday, with the start time at 8:00 p.m. EST.
All stats for this article are from Hockey-Reference.com.
You can find Michael Mazzei on Twitter @MichaelMazzei3.