As USA head coach Nate Leaman said after his team’s New Years Eve victory over Sweden: “It’s a new tournament now.”
On Saturday night, the United States hit the ice against Slovakia with a berth in the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship semifinals. He skated with a 5-2 win much closer than it looks. It was quite a turnaround from last year when the Americans were shutouted by the Finns in the quarterfinals. Eight players are back from this team and they didn’t want to go home sooner.
One of those returnees, Arthur Kaliyev, kicked off the party during the first period. He was sitting in a wide open back door on a power play and easily hit the puck for his second goal of the tournament. Cole Caufield, who turned 20 on Saturday, also got his second of the 2021 tournament, and also with the man advantage, when he fired a villain who lowered the bar for the match winner. Sandwiched between those goals was one of the newcomers as Ryan Johnson’s point shot started with John Farinacci and inside. The prospect of the Coyotes added his second of the night on a nice loss in the third period to give the Americans a cushion of two goals. . Matthew Beniers froze the game with an empty net.
“We had a good pre-check and I scratched it at Bobby [Brink] then he kind of got caught behind the net over there and I saw the D leave the net in front and I just tried to reel him in and luckily he came in, “Farinacci said of its insurance goal.
Farinacci and his line mates, Bobby Brink and Brett Berard, dominated all night.
“They know how to stay on the pucks, they know how to hunt, they know how to get to the net,” Leaman said of his third row after the game. “It’s a simple game. They don’t make the game difficult for themselves, they make the game easier and by keeping it simple, they’re all on the same page… They have good chemistry. C is fun to watch. “
However, things were risky for Americans for a while. They had chances to break the game big in the second as they led 1-0, but Slovakian goalkeeper Simon Latkoczky was on fire as he stole Caufield and Alex Turcotte in breakaways. Latkoczky stopped 38 of the 42 shots he faced. The US team took a 3-1 lead in the third, but the Slovaks made it a one-goal game on a perfect redirect by a Dominik Sojka, lone left, on the power play. It looked like they were destined to tie the game until Farinacci’s second game.
“When they scored the second goal I like the way the coach said we reacted well and it just brought urgency to us, you can tell,” said Ryan Johnson. “So I think the goal kind of gave us a little wake-up call that we had to fight a little harder on.”
Spencer Knight was once again solid in the net as he stoned the Slovaks on an uncomfortable number of shots from the slot machine. The Slovaks ‘first goal, by Matej Kaslik at the end of the second period, ended the Americans’ shutout streak with a junior world record of 218: 53. Knight and Dustin Wolf combined for 245: 07 of time. white with a goalie in the net.
Trevor Zegras had two assists and regained the lead in tournament scoring against Canada’s Dylan Cozens with 15 points. This total also places it in the list of America’s unique tournaments, linking it to Hall of Famer Mike Modano. He now has nine assists, matching his number (and total points) from last year and placing him one point behind Jeremy Roenick on the career points list for the USA Hockey Junior World Championships.
The United States was again without Patrick Moynihan; Moynihan was absent for the second consecutive time due to an injury. The Devils prospect took a late, high (and, many would say, dirty) blow against Austria (the player was suspended two games for the coup) and was knocked down against the Czechs. Moynihan may be available with Americans moving forward.
Speaking of those pesky Finns from last year, all eight American returnees will have a chance for revenge, as it will be Finland against the United States on Monday (9:30 p.m. ET, NHL Network / TSN) in the semi-finals.
Sporting News got all the action as the United States advanced to the semi-finals with their big win over the Slovaks.
(All Eastern hours)
USA vs Slovakia score, 2021 World Juniors quarter-finals highlights
Third period: USA 5, Slovakia 2
12h59 – GOAL IN. The Slovaks shot their goaltender with 1:31 left and seven seconds later Matthew Beniers scored for the ice. The United States leads 5-2.
12:57 am – Diver Drew Helleson breaks a pass.
12.54 p.m. – GOAL. Off the front failure, Farinacci had the puck behind the net, came out and scored on the other side of the backhand. The United States leads 4-2.
12:52 am – The Americans are in control with just over five minutes to go as Cole Caufield gets two decent looks – one that left the post.
00:44 – There are just under nine minutes left in regulation and it’s a one-goal game. The United States overtakes the Slovaks 35-16.
12:40 – GOAL PP. With five seconds remaining on the power play, Samuel Knazko stops the punt pass and sends the puck to Dominik Sojka who is wide open in the left circle for the redirection. The United States leads 3-2.
00:39 – Cam York does a great block, but the puck goes straight to the slot and Spencer Knight comes in big on a close range shot.
00:38 – Helleson called for the trigger. The Slovaks are heading towards their third power play of the game. So far, they’re 0-2 with two shots at the net.
12:25 – The third period begins and the Americans have another good chance in the first 20 seconds as he steals Turcotte on the rebound.
Second period: USA 3, Slovakia 1
12:04 am – With that goal, the Americans’ shutout streak ends at 245:07 with a goaltender in the net and a world junior shutout streak record of 218: 53 (achieved from Russia’s empty net in Christmas until Kaslik’s goal).
12:03 – GOAL. Puck somehow gets to Matej Kaslik and he starts the stopwatch which beats Spencer Knight. The United States leads 3-1.
12h00 – OBJECTIVE PP. Birthday boy Cole Caufield descends from the right circle. The USA leads 3-0.
11:58 p.m. – Trevor Zegras is touched late and looks a bit shaken up, but the Americans are now 5v3. Zegras looks good and stays on the sidelines for the two-man advantage.
11:57 p.m. – The Americans are heading into the power play as Roman Faith takes a bad penalty.
11:57 p.m. – John Farinacci at close range on the face-off, but it’s right in Simon Latkoczy.
11:52 p.m. – Martin Chromiak rings one on the pipe as the Slovaks react to goal with a good time zone.
11:50 p.m. – GOAL. Ryan Johnson sends the puck to the net and with four players in between (two Slovaks and two Americans), she gets out of John Farinacci’s leg and walks in. The USA leads 2-0.
11:48 p.m. – The Americans come closer as the pass falls to the Slovakian defender, but Latkoczy is of course there. He’s got a match.
11:45 p.m. – The United States has a numerical advantage.
23:38 – Another escape for the American team as the Slovakian defender falls to the blue line and Alex Turcotte is robbed by Simon Latkoczy.
23:37 – Coincident minors and it will be 4 on action for two minutes.
11:34 p.m. – Slovakia kept the pressure on in the attacking zone and Spencer Knight made a good stop in traffic.
11:32 p.m. – Cole Caufield steals and gets a fumble, but the birthday boy is stopped on the blocker side and cannot squeeze into the rebound.
11:30 p.m. – The second period is a try. Zegras is doing well and is back on the ice.
First period: USA 1, Slovakia 0
11:11 p.m. – The first period is coming to an end.
- The United States has now shut out their opponents for 200 minutes and 21 seconds. With a keeper in the net (since Dustin Wolf relieved Spencer Knight against Russia), he’s 226:35 goalless.
11:10 p.m. – Trevor Zegras gets up as he enters the Slovakia zone and he returns directly to the American bench. The blow caught him a little in the chin. He seems to be doing well on the bench.
11:04 p.m. – Seconds after the Americans kill the penalty, Spencer Knight steals Roman Faith from the slot machine. Faith grabs her head in disbelief.
11:02 p.m. – Spencer Knight makes a good save from the penalty spot.
11:01 p.m. – Landon Slaggert claimed 2 + 10 for a blow to the head.
10:55 p.m. – GOAL PP. It’s an “Arty Party” because Arthur Kaliyev is left wide open – like wide, wide open – on the backdoor and he hits it. The USA leads 1-0.
10:54 p.m. – The United States has a numerical advantage. The Americans are 6 to 15 with the advantage of the man.
10:47 p.m. – The United States is heading for the penalty; they have yet to give up a power play goal in the tournament (5v5). They would kill this one and now 6 against 6.
10:44 p.m. – John Farinacci is crushed against the high planks and heads into the tunnel after.
10:40 p.m. – Scramble in front of the Slovakian net but cannot finish. Simon Latkoczy is in net for the Slovaks.
10:38 p.m. – As the referee in the center of the ice says: “Let’s have a good time here”.
Before the match
9:20 p.m. – Lines.
9:10 p.m. – A few notes to prepare you.
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