2021 World Juniors Recap: Gold Medal Game

 

In a nearly flawless game played by the Americans, Team USA skated away with the gold medals as they beat Canada 2-0.

Opening 20 minutes

The Americans were the stronger team in the early stages despite being outshot 7-2 in the opening minutes. Once the team settled down, they put pressure on Team Canada and opened the scoring at 13:25of the first period. Alex Turcotte scored his second goal of the tournament. An assist went to Trevor Zegras who took over the tournament scoring lead with his 15th point.

Canada was struggling to generate any offense, even on a late period penalty. Team USA outshot Canada 13-9 and looked dominant for much of the opening 20 minutes.

A second-period comeback?

Canada continued to look out of place early in the second period. It only took Team USA 32 seconds to score and make it 2-0. This time it was Zegras hitting the back of the net on a pass from Arthur Kaliyev.

A penalty just past the midpoint of the second period for Canada put the pressure on the team to do everything it could to stop the American’s attack and possibly gain some momentum. Canada killed off the only penalty it took on the night and it seemed to create a spark.

Canada pressured the Americans for the final seven minutes of the middle frame but could not solve Spencer Knight. They put 10 shots on net to the seven. Team USA took a 2-0 lead into the dressing room.

Under pressure

Team USA came out of the gate in the third period with nothing to lose by playing a more dump and chase style of game against the Canadians. The shots on net certainly showed that the Americans were more concerned with holding their lead than trying to pile more goals into the back of Canada’s net.

The Americans also had a goalie in Knight who was as cool as a cucumber when it mattered most. The US team was able to rely on Knight to make important saves. He stopped all 15 shots that came his way over the final 20 minutes including a late flurry when Canada had pulled Devon Levi from between the pipes.

It was all for naught though as the American team held on for a 2-0 victory and their fourth straight against Canada in gold medal finals at the IIHF World Junior Championships. It is their fifth gold medal all-time.

This game was also the 12th shutout of the tournament, surpassing 2004 for the most in one U20 event.

In a bright spot for the Western Hockey League, Dustin Wolf of the Everett Silvertips earned himself a gold medal.

Three stars for each team

Canada:

Bowen Byran 25:54 TOI, 4 shots, -1

Alex Newhook 16:00, 3-for-3 faceoffs, Even

Braden Schneider 17:54 TOI, 3 shots, Even

USA:

Trevor Zegras 17:05 TOI, 3 shots, 1G, 1A, +2

Spencer Knight 34 save shutout win

Jake Sanderson 21:41 TOI, +2

IIHF Directorate Awards
Best Goaltender: Devon Levi, Canada
Best Defenceman: Topi Niemela, Finland
Best Forward: Tim Stutzle, Germany

Media All-Star Team & MVP
Goaltender: Devon Levi, Canada
Defenceman: Bowen Byram, Canada
Defenceman: Ville Heinola, Finland
Forward: Trevor Zegras, USA
Forward: Dylan Cozens, Canada
Forward: Tim Stutzle, Germany
Most Valuable Player: Trevor Zegras, USA

The groups only change slightly for next year.

Canada, Germany, Finland, Czech Republic, and Austria

Sweden, Russia, USA, Slovakia, and Switzerland

DUBNetwork Forums 2021 World Juniors Recap: Gold Medal Game

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    Paul Figler
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      In a nearly flawless game played by the Americans, Team USA skated away with the gold medals as they beat Canada 2-0. Opening 20 minutes The Am
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