On NHL Network’s 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship pre-game show, Team USA’s Trevor Zegras shared his bold thoughts during his interview with reporter Jill Savage.
“What’s the difference? What’s going to give you that slight edge to taking this one?” Savage asked him.
“Honestly, I don’t think (Canada) has been tested with a real team yet and I think we’re sort of going on all cylinders right now,” Zegras replied in a neutral tone. “I think we’re going to catch them by surprise and I think we’ll go from there.”
This is exactly what the Americans did – powered by Zegras.
In the first period, he sent the puck to Drew Helleson on point. The defenseman then netted him and Alex Turcotte sent him home. The goal marked the first 5-on-5 goal the Canadiens allowed in the entire tournament.
Then, just 32 seconds into the second period, it was the 2019 Ducks’ first round again – this time with the goal. Arthur Kaliyev sent the puck deep, and it should have curled up, but instead hit the back pipe on the outside and come back as it came. Because of this, Canadian goaltender Devon Levi leaned the wrong way and Zegras managed to put the puck in the net.
Zegras entered the game tied with Canada’s Dylan Cozens for the tournament scoring lead. He finished with 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) and was named MVP of the tournament. Assist tied him with Jordan Schroeder for most career U.S. assists in junior world history (20) and after the goal tied Schroeder on points (27).
Before answering the above question, Zegras was asked about the Canadiens’ perfect 5v5 game.
“Honestly, I don’t think this keeper has been tested 5v5 yet,” he said of Levi.
In the end, the two 5-5 goals sealed the deal as the Americans won 2-0 and won the gold medal.