Entering Tuesday’s contest with the Czech Republic, the Americans had played two games on opposite ends of the spectrum. Game 1 showcased a team struggling to play a full 60 in a 5-3 loss to Russia. Game 2 was a dominating 73-shot, 11-goal shutout of Austria less than 24 hours later.
And in Game 3 against the Czechs, the Americans continued their winning ways with a solid wire-to-wire 7-0 win. Trevor Zegras led the way with five points (two goals, three assists) while Bobby Brink was named Player of the Game backed by his two-goals. His future Flyers teammate, USA captain Cam York, chipped in three assists. Also adding to the goal party was two guys head coach Nate Leaman would love to get going in Cole Caufield and Arthur Kaliyev. The pair scored consecutively in the third period on two rips from the circles; Caufield also had an assist on the game’s capper by Matt Boldy that was a show-stopping between-the-legs beauty.
“The Czechs showed against Russia that they have a really good team and it took us a while to cash in on it,” said Brink as the American’s first goal of the game — his first of two — didn’t come till the second period. “I think if we play like we did in this game in the rest of the tournament, I think our team is going to do really well.”
Spencer Knight also had a solid bounce-back game in between the pipes. The Panthers prospect struggled in the team’s loss to Russia, allowing four goals on 12 shots. Against the Czechs, he pitched a 22-save shutout that including stoning Michal Teply right on the doorstep. Teply, a Blackhawks draft pick in 2019, led the Czechs with six shots on net.
“I kind of came in today, just want to play hockey and just have fun. That was kind of my thing for today,” said Knight postgame. “Not try to get too worried about the game and all that stuff. Just come to the rink and have a smile on your face and just have fun.”
Lukas Parik, who backstopped the Czechs to a shocking 2-0 win over Russia on Sunday, was originally slated to be the backup. He ended up starting with a last-minute lineup change and proceeded to allow seven goals on 30 shots. Nick Malik, the son of ex-NHLer Marek, relieved him late in the third and stopped both shots he saw.
The U.S. is now officially in the quarterfinal round; however, seeding is still up for grabs. They’ll face a tough Swedish team to close out a New Year’s Eve tripleheader.
Sporting News had all the action as the United States and the Czech Republic battle it out in Group B action.
(All times Eastern)
USA vs. Czech Republic score, highlights from 2021 World Juniors
Third period: USA 7, Czech Republic 0
4:19 p.m. — Trevor Zegras comes close to the hat trick but rings it off the post on the power play.
4:17 p.m. — Alex Turcotte makes the pass around the pack of the net and gets nailed by Radek Kucerik. Turcotte is down and skates off slowly after the trainer comes out.
4:16 p.m. — Czech’s get two great scoring chances up close but Spencer Knight gets the pad down.
4:16 p.m. — Czech’s take another penalty.
4:15 p.m. — Malik now in and Parik is out and not happy.
4:13 p.m. — PP GOAL. Matthew Boldy (MIN) down by the net and he goes between the legs — a la Nick Malik’s dad Marek’s famous shootout goal — to score. USA leads 7-0.
4:12 p.m. — Delay of game handed out to the Czech bench. Possibly because they wanted to make a goalie change and something got crossed up.
4:10 p.m. — GOAL. Cole Caufield (MTL) picks the puck up and just buries it from the bottom of the right circle. His first of the tournament too. USA leads 6-0.
4:05 p.m. — PP GOAL. It’s an #ArtyParty in 2021. NYC native Arthur Kaliyev (LAK) snaps the puck from the left circle for his first of the tournament. USA leads 5-0.
4:04 p.m. — USA gets another power play.
3:58 p.m. — GOAL. On a delayed penalty, Trevor Zegras (ANA) with one-timer from the right circle. USA leads 4-0.
3:56 p.m. — USA keeping the pressure on as the ice continues to tilt their way.
3:51 p.m. — Final frame is underway.
Second period: USA 3, Czech Republic 0
Shots through two periods: USA 23, Czech Republic 20
3:32 p.m. — Under a minute left and Spencer Knight (FLA) makes his best save of the game as he robs Michal Teply (CHI) all alone after the puck popped out to him.
3:31 p.m. — Landon Slaggert (CHI) comes close as the puck trickles just wide. USA is buzzing now.
3:25 p.m. — GOAL. Bobby Brink (PHI) on the doorstep with his stick on the ice (always a good thing) and a defenseman on him bangs in the perfect Matthew Beniers pass. USA leads 3-0.
3:22 p.m. — GOAL. After coincidental minors and 4-on-4 action, Henry Thrun (ANA) feeds a wide-open Trevor Zegras (ANA) in the right circle and he buries it with Parik out of position. USA leads 2-0.
3:18 p.m. — Spencer Knight with a good stop on Wild prospect Pavel Novak.
3:13 p.m. — Drew Helleson (COL) with a shot from the high slot and Parik makes the stop but gives up the rebound. USA not there to capitalize but are flying in this middle frame.
3:08 p.m. — GOAL. Brett Berard (NYR) gets his initial shot blocked but his second attempt squirts through Parik and dribbles into the paint. Bobby Brink (PHI) jumps on the loose puck and buries it. USA leads 1-0.
3:07 p.m. — Spencer Knight with another good stop but his rebound goes out into the middle
3:05 p.m. — Matthew Beniers is absolutely flying in the offensive zone. He’s available in the 2021 draft.
2:58 p.m. — Second period underway.
First period: USA 0, Czech Republic 0
Shots: Czech Republic 10, USA 7
2:37 p.m. — Wow. Czech’s with a great chance but just can’t connect on what would have been a slam-dunk goal. A royal road pass to a wide-open Michal Teply (CHI) who can’t finish at the far side.
2:22 p.m. — Ryan Johnson (BUF) called for tripping. Per NHL Network’s Dave Starman, USA was worried about the Czech’s embellishing calls … and it was close.
2:20 p.m. — Spencer Knight looking solid in net thus far. He’s faced six shots and has stopped them all.
2:15 p.m. — Matthew Boldy with a good chance on the doorstep as he gets two good looks.
2:14 p.m. — Adam Raska (SJS) takes Cole Caufield (MTL) into the boards by the Czech’s bench — with a little extra — and gets two for roughing. Entering the game, Team USA is 3-for-7 with the man advantage.
2:12 p.m. — Off a turnover, Brett Berard (NYR) with a good chance. Then a mad scramble but the Americans can’t bury it despite Parik out of position.
2:10 p.m. — Some explanation from head coach Nate Leaman on why Spencer Knight (FLA), and not Dustin Wolf (CGY), is between the pipes for this one.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 29, 2020
2:08 p.m. — Game on.
2:07 p.m. — UPDATE: Lukas Parik is in net for the Czechs.
1:21 p.m. — Lines are here.
Leaman said he really liked Brock Faber (LAK) with Cam York (PHI) and expected that duo to play a big role going forward. USA looks to have solidified 3L with Berard (NYR)-Farinacci (ARI)-Brink (PHI). LaCombe and Knight get a chance to bounce back from rough outings vs. RUS.
— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) December 29, 2020
World Juniors 2021: Latest news