Sun, Sep 18, 2016 - Page 12 News List

US say ‘it is time’ to break through at the World Cup

AP, TORONTO

The US’ Patrick Kane, of the Chicago Blackhawks, attends a training session for the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto on Friday.

Photo: AP

Patrick Kane looks at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic final loss to Canada as the US being one goal away from gold. Jonathan Quick looks at the 2014 Sochi Olympic semi-final loss as the US being one goal away from playing for gold.

This generation of US players has always been one goal away and unable to finish the job. With Kane, Quick, Zach Parise, Ryan Suter and captain Joe Pavelski among those back for another crack, the realization is setting in that this World Cup of Hockey is the Americans’ best, and perhaps last, chance to win an international championship.

Coach John Tortorella has told his team: “It is time.”

“We’re probably in the prime and peak of our careers right now where we feel that it’s time to make something happen,” Kane said. “You can think about that pressure, you can do whatever you want with it, but it comes down to this tournament for us and this tournament only.”

With only three games in round-robin play, there is urgency for every team to start strong and no breathing room.

Kane said that previous American generations won at the 1960 and 1980 Olympics and 1996 World Cup of Hockey. Kane, Quick, Parise, Suter, Pavelski, David Backes and Ryan Kesler have been around for six years and through two Olympics and it is not just time, it is about time.

“We’ve been there and we’ve had our chances and it’s time to break through,” Pavelski said. “We’ve been close, but we’re looking for a little bit more out of each other and to really find that right ingredient and that big play at the right moment.”

Look no further than Kane, who won the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP last season for the Chicago Blackhawks and led the league in scoring with 106 points. He is the brightest of the US stars and will have to do better than the zero goals and four points he produced in Sochi. Winger Max Pacioretty called Kane “the best player in the game” and the World Cup the perfect situation for him.

“I’d go as far as to say our team has a good chance because Patrick Kane is in his prime,” Pacioretty said. “This tournament sets up perfectly for him... A guy like that can change a game in one shift, so I think for the rest of the team our identity is be hard to play against, make life difficult for them, but Kaner, let him do his thing.”

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