Canada off to World Juniors semi-final after win over Czechs

Jan 3 2021, 2:40 am

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Canada is off to the semi-finals at the 2021 World Juniors.

It wasn’t their best performance of the tournament, but Canada got the job done on Saturday with a 3-0 win over the Czech Republic in their quarter-final game in Edmonton.

There weren’t many grade-A chances for either side in this game, likely all part of the plan for the Czechs, but Canada seemed content to hold a 2-0 lead for the majority of the contest after scoring a couple goals early on.

Dylan Cozens has been a force all tournament long and got Canada on the board for a second straight game, scoring on a breakaway after a great feed from Connor McMichael.

It’s the seventh goal for Cozens, which leads all players at the World Juniors.

Not long after the opening goal, Bowen Byram’s wrist shot from the point beat Nick Malik to give Canada a two-goal lead.

Cozens added an assist on Byram’s goal for his 13th point of the tournament, a number only matched by Team USA’s Trevor Zegras.

McMichael added an empty netter for Canada to put the game away with just under three minutes to play.

Coming off of arguably their most dominant game yet against Finland, Canada looked like a more beatable team on Saturday.

The Czechs’ 12 shots in the opening period is more than Canada has allowed in any period all tournament, and the Czechs actually outshot Canada 29-24 in the game.

Devon Levi was busy and although he wasn’t called upon to make any spectacular saves, he did his part in keeping Canada in control by managing his rebounds and making 29 saves for the shutout.

Levi has been great all tournament for Canada, starting all five games, recording two shutouts and only allowing three goals. In a tournament with Spencer Knight and Yaroslav Askarov, Levi leads the tournament in wins, save percentage, and goals against average.

Canada is now just two wins away from back-to-back gold medals.

Joining Canada in the semi-finals are Russia, Finland, and the USA after their quarter-final wins over Germany, Sweden, and Slovakia respectively.

Both semi-final games will take place on Monday, January 4. Canada takes on Russia at 6 pm ET/3 pm PT, while USA plays Finland at 9:30 pm ET/6:30 pm PT.

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