United States stymies Canada to win gold medal at the World Juniors

Photo Courtesy of Hockey Canada United States defenceman Jackson LaCombe battles with Canadian forward Dawson Mercer during Tuesday’s gold medal game at the 2021 World Juniors.

As they did four years earlier in Montreal, the United States under-20 team prevented their archrivals from Canada from winning a gold medal on home ice.

In a back-and-forth affair at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Tuesday night, the Americans came away with their fifth World Juniors title with a 2-0 triumph over the event hosts and the defending champions.

Tournament MVP and Anaheim Ducks prospect Trevor Zegras led the way for the gold medalists with a goal and an assist.

Florida Panthers first round pick Spencer Knight saved his best performance for the final as the Boston College Eagles netminder turned aside all 33 shots he faced.

“No one person can win a game on their own,” Knight said to TSN after the game.  “We battled so hard from start to finish and we stuck to the game plan.”

Canada, who became the first team since Sweden in 2018 to run the table at the tournament before losing the gold medal game, has now dropped four straight finals to the United States.

Devon Levi of the Northeastern Huskies, who is also a Panthers draft pick, turned aside 19 shots for Canada.

Defenceman Kaiden Guhle of the Prince Albert Raiders and local product Braden Schneider, who is a blueliner for Brandon Wheat Kings, had three points each during the tournament.

Earlier in the day, Finland captured the bronze medal with a 4-1 win over Russia.

Panthers draft pick Anton Lundell scored twice for the Finns, who reached the podium for the first time since winning the tournament in 2019.

Mikko Petman and Nashville Predators draft pick Juuso Parssinen also found the back of the net in the triumph, while Windsor Spitfires netminder Kari Piiroinen turned aside 28 shots.

Ilya Safonov had the lone marker for Russia, who missed out on the podium for the first time since 2018.

After a rough outing in Monday’s semifinal against Canada, Predators first round pick Yaroslav Askarov bounced back with a 28-save performance.

Final Tournament Stats


  1. Trevor Zegras (United States) – 18 points
  2. Dylan Cozens (Canada) – 16 points
  3. Anton Lundell (Finland) – 10 points
  4. John-Jason Peterka (Germany) – 10 points
  5. Tim Stutzle (Germany) – 10 points

Defensive Scoring

  1. Topi Niemela (Finland) – 8 points
  2. Cam York (United States) – 6 points
  3. Bowen Byram (Canada) – 5 points
  4. Brock Faber (United States) – 5 points
  5. Victor Soderstrom (Sweden) – 5 points

Goals Against Average

  1. Devon Levi (Canada) – 0.75 (seven games – 964 save percentage)
  2. Spencer Knight (United States) – 1.63 (six games – .940 save percentage)
  3. Kari Piiroinen (Finland) – 2.18 (six games – .915 save percentage)
  4. Hugo Alnefelt (Sweden) – 2.36 (four games – .902 save percentage)
  5. Yaroslav Askarov (Russia) – 2.50 (six games – .914 save percentage)

Tournament Awards

  • Best Goaltender: Devon Levi (Canada)
  • Best Defenceman: Topi Nimiela (Finland)
  • Best Forward: Tim Stutzle (Germany)
  • MVP: Trevor Zegras (United States)

Tournament All-Star Team

  • Goaltender: Devon Levi (Canada)
  • Defencemen: Bowen Byram (Canada)/Ville Heinola (Finland)
  • Forwards: Dylan Cozens (Canada)/Tim Stutzle (Germany)/Trevor Zegras (United States)

Groups for 2022 Tournament in Edmonton and Red Deer

Group A

  • United States
  • Russia
  • Sweden
  • Slovakia
  • Switzerland

Group B

  • Canada
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Czech Republic
  • Austria