World Juniors Recap: December 31st, 2020


On the last day of 2020, we learned the seeding of each team and who missed out on a spot in the quarterfinals. Here is the recap from December 31st, 2020.

The Czech Republic versus Austria:

The Czechs dominated Austria 7-0 to claim the last quarterfinals spot in Group B. Austria will now head home after only scoring one goal in their four group stage games.

Everything went downhill for Austria in the second period. They were able to escape the first period with a 0-0 tie, but the Czechs were too strong and skilled. Seattle Thunderbirds defenceman Simon Kubicek scored the Czechs first goal of the game at 6:21 of the period. This was followed up by Moose Jaw Warriors forward Marin Lang burying a pair of goals to make it 3-0. The goals came at 12:05 and 18:11 of the second period. Filip Prikryl ended the period by scoring his first goal of the tournament at 19:27 to take a 4-0 lead into the third period.

In the third period, the Czechs kept pressing. 1:39 in, Kelowna Rockets star Pavel Novák buried his first goal of the tournament to make it 5-0. The Czech Republic went on to score twice more in the frame to win the game 7-0. The first goal was by Spokane Chiefs prospect David Jiricek at 16:45 followed by Jan Mysak at 19:34. The Czechs outshot Austria 61-15 in the game.

The WHL steps up for the Czechs:

Seven WHL players were part of the Czechs win today. They combined for five goals and seven assists. Martin Lang of Moose Jaw and Pavel Novák of Kelowna led the way with three points each. Spokane Chiefs Lukas Parik did dress but did not play. The Czechs have the second-largest WHL contingency behind Canada and have relied on these players to carry them throughout the tournament. If the Czechs want to beat Canada in the quarterfinals then they will need this group of WHLers to step up.

Austria fails to produce in the offensive zone:

Austria’s tournament comes to an end having registered just one goal on 49 shots. The problem was they spent way too much time in their own zone. Austria gave up a tournament-high 29 goals on 249 shots. Yes, you read that right. In four games, Austria gave up an average of 62.25 shots per game. Their goaltender Sebastian Wraneschitz deserves a lot of credit for how he played this tournament. He faced over 60 shots in all three of his games and in total faced 194 shots in 169 minutes. That’s an average of 1.15 shots every minute. He faced more shots than Switzerland and Slovakia generated combined (179-194). If Wraneschitz can perform the way he did at next year’s tournament, combined with some offensive improvement, Austria may have a chance at the quarterfinals in 2022.

Three stars from each team:

Czech Republic:

Martin Lang- 2 goals, 1 assist, 3 shots, +3, 19:34 TOI

Pavel Novák- 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 shots, +3, 14:02 TOI

Simon Kubicek- 1 goal, 1 assist, 6 shots, +3, 21:47 TOI


Sebastian Wraneschitz- 54 shots on 61 saves

Luis Lindner- 1 shot, 22:11 TOI

Marco Rossi- 3 shots, 18:41 TOI

Canada versus Finland:

Canada dominated Finland despite the score only being 4-1. They controlled the play, did not allow Finland to possess the puck in the offensive zone, and played a physical brand of hockey to claim the top spot in Group A.

With Canada pressing, Dylan Cozens of the Lethbridge Hurricanes beat Kari Piiroinen 3:49 into the first period to give Canada a 1-0 lead. Canada added to their lead in the second period when Dylan Holloway tipped the puck past the Finnish keeper 6:54 into the period. Winnipeg Ice star Peyton Krebs scored his third goal of the tournament at 12:58 of the period and Canada took a 3-0 lead into the final frame.

Finland got a goal back on a powerplay 5:05 into the third period when Brad Lambert beat Canadian goalkeeper Devon Levi. Canada sealed the win thanks to Cozens’ second goal of the game into an empty net at 18:43 making it 4-1. The Canadians outshot Finland 40-19 with Finland only registering seven shots through the first two periods.

Canada finally dominates start to finish:

This was Canada’s best game of the tournament by far. They controlled the play the entire game and played physically until the final whistle. In previous games, it has almost looked like Canada has been a step slow despite blowing out their opponents. This game showed that Canada is ready to compete for a medal. Players like Dylan Cozens, Bowen Byram, and Devon Levi must continue to have big games if they want to avoid an upset in the quarterfinals when they face the Czech Republic.

A rough night for Finland:

Finland played the previous night and looked tired for most of the game. They did not forecheck well, could not set up in the offensive zone, and were unable to get to the high danger spots on the ice. They found their legs in the third period, but it was too late by that point. The good news for Finland is that their penalty kill finally stepped up. This had been a major issue so far for the Fins in the tournament up until this point. Finland will now face Sweden in the quarterfinals.

Three stars from each team:


Dylan Cozens- 2 goals, 5 shots, +3, 18:54 TOI

Peyton Krebs- 1 goal, 1 shot, +1, 18:33 TOI

Conner McMichael- 7 shots, +2, 17:11 TOI


Kari Piiroinen- 36 saves on 39 shots

Topi Niemelä- 1 assist, 2 shots, 18:29 TOI

Santeri Hatakka- 1 shot, 24:29 TOI

The USA versus Sweden:

In the final game of the group stage, The US defeated Finland 4-0 to be crowned champions of Group B. Sweden fell to third in the division with the loss.

The US struck early when Helleson beat Swedish goaltender Hugo Alnefelt 1:09 into the first period. The US doubled their lead a few minutes later when Trevor Zegras scored his tournament-leading sixth goal at 3:58 of the first.

In the second period, The US scored twice to extend its lead to 4-0. First, Johnson got his first off a shot from the left faceoff dot 2:00 into the period. Then Turcotte finally found the back of the net for his first goal of the tournament at 3:55 of the period. That was it for Alnefelt as Sweden brought in Jesper Wallstedt to finish out the game. Despite the pressure, Spencer Knight held firm with 27 saves to capture the 4-0 win for the United States.

Spencer Knight defends his castle:

After being pulled in the game versus Russia, Knight has bounced back with two straight shutouts. The US has not allowed a goal as a team since Russia scored with 21 seconds left in their first game of the tournament. They have outscored opponents 22-0 since and are slowly showing how dangerous they can be in this tournament. The US will take on Slovakia in the quarter-finals after clinching the top spot in the group. The win also ensures they will not have to face Canada until the medal rounds.

Missed opportunity for Sweden:

Sweden has now lost two straight games which should be worrying heading into the quarterfinals. They have been dangerous offensively, but have been unable to produce at the level that is expected from this team. Only scoring four goals on 65 shots against Austria was when the alarm bells should have gone off for Sweden. It looks as though star defenseman Philip Broberg is hurt which will be a major loss for them on the backend. Sweden has to regroup quickly as they now have to faceoff against Nordic rival Finland in the quarterfinals.

Three stars from each team:


Spencer Knight- 27 save shutout

Trevor Zegras- 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 shots, +3, 18:32 TOI

Alex Turcotte- 1 goal, 1 assist, 3 shots, +3, 16:09 TOI


Jesper Wallstedt- 16 saves on 16 shots

Lucas Raymond- 5 shots, 19:24 TOI

Arvid Costmar- 2 shots, 17:02 TOI

On To The Quarterfinals:

The group stage is done and the quarterfinals are set. The final standings were:

Group A                                       Group B

Canada- 12 point                          USA- 9 points

Finland- 9 points                           Russia- 8 points

Germany- 5 points                        Sweden- 7 points

Slovakia- 4 points                         Czech Republic- 6 points

Switzerland- 0 points                    Austria- 0 points

All quarterfinal matches will take place on January 2nd, 2021.

The matchups and times are:

Russia (2B) versus Germany (3A) – 10 am MST

Finland (2A) versus Sweden (3B) – 1:30 pm MST

Canada (1A) versus the Czech Republic (4B) – 5:00 pm MST

USA (1B) versus Slovakia (4A) – 8:30 pm MST




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