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Team North America’s Most Important Player

In January 2015, when details were unveiled of how the upcoming World Cup of Hockey would include a Team North America squad, consisting of players under 24 years old, Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray wasn’t necessarily the first goalie who came to mind when thinking about best-on-best hockey.

At that point, he was still in the middle of his first full season as an American Hockey League goalie, one that was going quite well. When he saw the announcement, making the team became a personal goal for Murray — but he also was realistic about his standing in the hockey world.

“I remember thinking I was probably an afterthought for this team,” Murray said after the final practice before Team North America’s first World Cup pre-tournament game. “I was probably on the outside looking in.”

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