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

Saanich has awarded the tender for a youth bike skills park planned for the lot next to the George Tripp BC Hydro Substation off Lochside Drive to Bike Track Ltd. for $242,000. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich selects company to build youth bike skills track at Tripp Station Park

More than $240,000 allotted for Bike Track Ltd. to design bike park

Victoria police are warning people of a continued rise in cybercrime. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)
Victoria police warn of rising cybercrime called spear phishing

Fraudsters continue to trick people out of large sums of money

The purchase of 27 acres in the Millstream Creek watershed by The Land Conservancy and other partners will protect a sensitive ecosystem in the Highlands. (Photo contributed by The Land Conservancy)
Provincial land conservancy lays out $600,000 for Highlands property

Anonymous donor helps buy purchased 11.1 hectares of Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem

Colin Springford doing what he loved best, tending to his garden. (Linda Matteson photo)
Longtime farmer Colin Springford dies at age 75

‘He will be deeply missed, always loved and never forgotten’

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Dallas Road

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to grim record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

The RCMP are reminding drivers to find alternative ways home if they have consumed anything that impairs their ability to drive. (Black Press file photo)
Impaired Island driver flees road check twice on the same night

The officer issued the driver numerous violation tickets, and a four-month driving suspension

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at a fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. Mowi Canada has applied to the Federal Court of Canada for a judicial review of the decision by Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan to phase out salmon farming in the Discovery Islands by June, 2022. (Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward photo)
Major B.C. salmon farms seek court intervention in Discovery Islands ban

Fisheries minister is phasing out operations in the area by June 2022

(Black Press Media files)
Woman steals bottles of wine after brandishing stun baton in New Westminster

Police say the female suspect was wearing a beige trench coat with fur lining

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden are sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

The objectives of the Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society include peer support for parents and caregivers, as well as developing support services, projects, educational and employment opportunities for people with Down Syndrome. Photo supplied.
Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society offers support for families in the community

New non-profit seeking directors in cities across Vancouver Island

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

Most Read