- Chris Peters is ESPN’s NHL draft and prospects analyst. The Chicago native previously covered the NHL for CBSSports.com and founded the popular independent blog UnitedStatesofHockey.com where he covered the game at all levels since 2010.
The United States upset heavily favored and undefeated Canada 2-0 in Edmonton, Alberta, to win the gold medal Tuesday in the first world junior ice hockey championship played in a bubble.
In a defensive special, Boston College goaltender and Florida Panthers prospect Spencer Knight stopped all 34 shots he faced to secure USA’s first gold since 2017.
Knight recorded his third shutout of the event, most for an American goaltender in the tournament. Forward and Anaheim Ducks draft pick Trevor Zegras led the tournament in scoring with 18 points, the second most by an American player in tourney history. Zegras also tied the record for most points by an American in his world junior career with 27 over the past two tournaments.
The U.S. took the lead in the first period off a redirection at the net front from Los Angeles Kings prospect Alex Turcotte. That goal was the first 5-on-5 goal Canada had allowed throughout the World Junior Championship and the first time it had trailed at any point in the tournament.
Zegras extended the Americans’ lead 32 seconds into the second period when he collected the puck and slipped it past Canadian goalie Devon Levi, who was leaning the wrong way.
That goal gave Zegras the tie with former NHL player Jordan Schroeder for USA Hockey’s all-time scoring lead at the World Junior Championship with his 27th point collected over the past two tournaments.
Zegras also picked up second place on the Americans’ single-tournament scoring list, posting 18 points to lead all players in the 2021 tourney. He moved passed Jeremy Roenick and fell one shy of Doug Weight’s record of 19, set in 1991.
Canada had outscored opponents 41-4 before Tuesday night’s final in its bid to repeat as world junior champion.
The win gave USA Hockey its fourth consecutive victory over Canada in a World Junior Championship final, having earned wins in 2004, 2010, 2017 and 2021. USA is 4-1 all time in gold-medal games against Canada, which owns 18 golds in the tournament’s history.
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