United States’ Alex Turcotte (15) and Trevor Zegras (9) celebrate a goal against Canada during first period IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship gold medal game action in Edmonton on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

United States’ Alex Turcotte (15) and Trevor Zegras (9) celebrate a goal against Canada during first period IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship gold medal game action in Edmonton on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

U.S. beats Canada 2-0 to capture gold at world junior hockey championship

Defending-champion Canadians settle for silver

The United States derailed the previously undefeated Canadian juggernaut, beating the host squad 2-0 Tuesday to capture the gold medal at the world junior hockey championship in Edmonton.

The U.S. players poured over the bench as the buzzer sounded, tossing sticks and gloves aloft in an empty Rogers Place. The tournament was played with no fans in the stands to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

U.S. winger Trevor Zegras led the way, scoring a goal and adding an assist. American goaltender Spencer Knight, a 2019 top pick by the Florida Panthers, turned aside 34 shots for his third shutout of the tournament, tying the record set by Canada’s Devon Levi this year and by Justin Pogge in 2006.

It’s the first gold medal for the Americans since they won it all in 2017. Canada took home the silver medal. Finland defeated Russia 4-1 earlier Tuesday to win bronze.

Zegras, a 2019 first-round draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks, was the top scorer of the tournament (seven goals, 11 assists).

Alex Turcotte also scored for the U.S. Knight was spectacular at times, particularly when the Canadians stormed and buzzed the net late in the second period and came in waves in the third. Knight stoned Connor McMichael on a breakaway with three minutes left in the game, prompting the Canadian to slam his stick on the glass in frustration.

Levi made 19 saves in the loss.

Canadian forward Dylan Cozens, tied with Zegras in tournament scoring heading into the final, finished as Canada’s top point getter, with eight goals and eight assists.

READ MORE: Full tournament coverage here

The U.S. lost its tournament opener 5-3 to Russia before running the table, outscoring opponents 36-10.

Canada had been absolutely dominant, going undefeated and outscoring opponents 41-4 heading into the gold-medal match.

The players battled to a continuous hum of canned crowd noise throughout the game, including ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ on hard shots and great saves.

Rogers Place, home to the Edmonton Oilers, was otherwise empty except for hockey officials, media, rink and support staff.

The game featured two Florida draft picks in net: Levi, a seventh-round pick in 2020 and Knight.

The U.S. forechecked ferociously in the first period, outshot Canada 13-9 and opened the scoring at 13:25 when Turcotte deflected a Drew Helleson point shot up and over Levi’s glove. To that point, Canada had never trailed in the tournament.

The U.S. took a 2-0 lead just 32 seconds into the second period. Arther Kaliyev fired the puck past the net. Zegras grabbed the puck off the end boards and tucked it in on the short side while Levi, expecting puck to come out the other side, was moving in the opposite direction to cover the far post.

The Americans held off Canada in third to preserve the victory.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

To have the latest news, sports and entertainment headlines from B.C. and around the world sent to your inbox every morning, click here.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CanadahockeyIIHF world junior hockeyUSA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Nanaimo man will serve nine months in jail for the sexual assault of a young girl he admitted to having committed more than 40 years ago. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo man sentenced for sexually abusing girl more than 40 years ago

Man, now 71, gets nine-month sentence for abuse of friend’s daughter

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo teen arrested a day after allegedly assaulting and bullying victim

Teen taken into custody after wielding weapon and threatening driver at scene of car crash

‘We Are All Beautiful’ by Elise Cole and ‘The Modern Thrall’ by Enigye (Happy) Amarkah (from left) are two of the pieces featured in VIU’s Anti-Racism Arts Festival. (Images courtesy the artists)
Vancouver Island University holds first Anti-Racism Arts Festival

Three-day online event to feature visual arts, performance, film and poetry

Killer whales surface near Sebastion Beach in Lantzville on Sunday, April 11. (Photo courtesy Ella Smiley)
Orcas near the beach thrill whale watchers in Lantzville

Jagged-finned orca named Chainsaw and 17 others spent hours off Sebastion Beach this weekend

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ district administration centre. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district gets started on new budget amid unknowns

Ministry’s per-student funding increase doesn’t fully cover pay raises for teachers and support staff

Killer whales surface near Sebastion Beach in Lantzville on Sunday, April 11. (Photo courtesy Ella Smiley)
Orcas near the beach thrill whale watchers in Lantzville

Jagged-finned orca named Chainsaw and 17 others spent hours off Sebastion Beach this weekend

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)
Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Police: mental health crisis likely in car driven through Saanich Walmart wall

Man in his early 20s drove through a parkade wall, no serious injuries reported

A plane is seen through the window on the tarmac of Vancouver International Airport as the waiting room is empty. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
100+ international travellers who landed in B.C. refused to quarantine

The Public Health Agency of Canada says it issued $3,000 violation tickets to each

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

The Campbell River Gun Club outdoor range is located on Argonaut Road west of Campbell River. CRGC/Facebook photo
Campbell River Gun Club range shut down after complaints of stray bullets

Neighbour says bullets hit caretaker’s RV and shattered a glass panel on his deck

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve’s Green Point Campground saw an unprecedented flurry of reservations last week. (Pacific Rim National Park Reserve photo)
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve campground sees ‘unprecedented’ interest

Reservations being accepted as Green Point Campground scheduled to open May 1

Restaurant owners Oura and Kymon Giakoumakis visit the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PODCAST: COVID-19 pandemic hits Island’s food service industry hard

Pair of Vancouver Island restaurant owners share thoughts and advice

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward
1 in 3 young Canadians have given up on owning a home: poll

Data released Monday says 36% of adults younger than 40 have given up on home ownership entirely

Most Read