Canada takes silver in 2-0 loss to US at world juniors

Roman Bychkov #7 of Russia shoves Matias Mantykivi #32 of Finland to the ice during the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship bronze medal game at Rogers Place

Each player knows what's expected and no one feels the pressure to carry the team, and each has displayed what the strength of their game is. In fact, were it not for some clutch saves from Canadian goalie Devon Levi, who posted a 29-save shutout, and a couple of goals that Czech goalie Nick Malik might want back, it would have been very scary.

Canada has six players from that squad including Dylan Cozens who has a 2021 tournament-best seven goals and defenseman Jamie Drysdale who was asked at Sunday's team availability if he thinks there will be any emotional carryover from previous year.

Head coaches Andre Tourigny and Igor Larionov were both assistant coaches in 2020.

Tournament MVP Trevor Zegras had a goal and an assist, and Alex Turcotte also scored as the USA won its first gold medal at the event since 2017. That clearly showed the puck had nestled under the iron and out at the 59-second mark.

There's no word on if there will be a 2021 Ontario Hockey League season, but Papineau said he's excited to potentially have Byfield back in a Wolves jersey. "Somebody on the bench said he thought it was in, then I saw it on the scoreboard".

The Canadians finally found their footing midway through the second period and really took charge in the third (outshooting the US 15-1), but nothing was going in.

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Russian captain Vasili Podkolzin took a four-minute penalty for cutting Finnish forward Matias Mantykivi with a high stick with 6:45 remaining that could have been a dagger.

Canada was the lone team to go undefeated in the preliminary round at 4-0 to top Pool A. The Czech Republic (2-2) ranked fourth in Pool B. "To be busy in the first period really keeps you in the game". Chemistry is vital to getting to the gold medal game, and the US has created it with consistency up and down its lineup and not having to dramatically move players around. Kari Piiroinen made 21 saves.

The two hockey powerhouses haven't faced each other in a World Junior semifinal since 2012, but they did face off in last year's final.

"Yeah, that was certainly on my mind, I wanted some revenge after losing in double overtime", said Levi, who goes through a three-hour pre-game preparation to get himself dialled in. "I think it'll be a good matchup". Despite only spending a single season in Carleton Place, Levi's former coach says the community already shares an huge pride for the star goaltender. Askarov stopped 18 of 19 shots from Germany. "It's exciting. I think it's continuing to grow and I'm looking forward to the Kraken starting because it will be another opportunity for the game to grow in that area".

However, Farinacci and Matthew Beniers scored in the 55th and 58th minutes respectively to ensure a win for the US.

"It's a plus for me the way the Czechs play us, the way we played and the way we had to dig in and figure it out", Tourigny said.

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