USA pulls off shocking upset over Canada in World Junior gold medal game

Jan 6 2021, 4:55 am

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After a dominant run, Canada will have to settle for a silver medal at the 2021 World Junior Championship.

Canada lost to the USA 2-0 in Tuesday’s gold medal clash, their first defeat all tournament after outscoring their opponents 41-4 coming into the game.

Canada had gone the entire tournament without trailing, but in the gold medal game they were placed in unfamiliar territory when the Americans scored first.

Canada had been hemmed in their own zone for what seemed like eternity before Alex Turcotte finally converted by deflecting a puck past Devon Levi. It was the first five-on-five goal Canada had allowed in the tournament.

Canada had a nervous first period and were hoping to come out stronger in the second, but instead found themselves down 2-0 when Trevor Zegras took advantage of a strange bounce in the first minute of the period.

Canada began to find their legs after the Zegras goal, but were now facing adversity for the first time in this tournament, down a pair of goals against their toughest opponent yet.

Making things even tougher for Canada was the stellar play of Spencer Knight in goal for the USA.

Canada continued to press for chances in the third and had their share of quality scoring opportunities, but couldn’t get a puck past Knight to mount a comeback.

Though Canada was flat early in the game, credit has to be given to the Americans. They played an excellent game and stifled Canada’s offence, something no other team came close to doing in this tournament.

Levi’s journey to become Canada’s starter was a great story, and his incredible run ended with him deservedly being named goaltender of the tournament.

Levi set new records for Canadian goaltenders at the world juniors in save percentage and goals against, and became the second Canadian goaltender at the World Juniors to post three shutouts in one tournament.

Dylan Cozens led Canada in scoring with 16 points in the tournament – the fifth highest total ever by a Canadian in a single tournament.

Some history was made by USA’s assistant coach Theresa Feaster, who was the first female assistant coach ever at the World Juniors, and now also the first to win gold.

Canada won the first World Junior gold medal matchup between these two teams back in 1997, but the USA have now won the last four since then.

A silver medal is still a great accomplishment, but considering how dominant Canada had been all tournament long, it certainly feels underwhelming.

Daily Hive

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