WJC roundup: Zegras, Knight lead United States past Czech Republic

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Tuesday is the fifth day of the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship, which is being held at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

 

Day 5 games

United States 7, Czech Republic 0: Trevor Zegras (Anaheim Ducks) scored five points, Spencer Knight (Florida Panthers) made 22 saves and the United States clinched a berth in the quarterfinals of the World Junior Championship with a Group B preliminary-round win Tuesday.

Zegras and Bobby Brink (Philadelphia Flyers) each scored twice, Cole Caufield (Montreal Canadiens) had a goal and an assist, Matthew Boldy (Minnesota Wild) and Arthur Kaliyev (Los Angeles Kings) each scored a goal. Defenseman Cameron York (Philadelphia Flyers), the captain for the United States (2-0-0-1) had three assists.

Knight was making his first start since being pulled at 12:15 of the second period after allowing four goals on 12 shots in a 5-3 loss to Russia on Friday.

The United States, which won 11-0 against Austria on Saturday, posted back-to-back shutouts at the tournament for the first time since 2015 (6-0 against Germany on Dec. 28, 2014; 3-0 against Slovakia on Dec. 29, 2014).

Lukas Parik (Los Angeles Kings) allowed seven goals on 30 shots for the Czech Republic (1-0-0-2). Nick Malik (2021 draft eligible) made two saves in relief. Parik made 30 saves for Czech Republic in a 2-0 win against Russia on Sunday.

Brink gave the United States a 1-0 lead when he knocked in a rebound at 5:33 of the second period. Knight had made a pad save against forward Radek Muzik (2021 draft eligible) on wrister shot from the left circle just 38 seconds earlier.

Zegras made it 2-0 on a shot from the right circle at 13:30 of the second. Brink scored his second of the game when he got position just outside the goal crease and redirected a pass from Matthew Beniers (2021 draft eligible) at 15:56 of the second.

“The coaches told us in the pre-scout (meeting) that there would be spots open in front and I got there and luckily it bounced to me,” Brink said. “I think we just didn’t allow Czech Republic to set up in their forecheck; they like to trap in the neutral zone, and so if we go right up and play quick, they can’t get into their set forecheck.”

Zegras scored his tournament-leading fifth goal on a slap shot from the right circle at 6:03 of the third period for a 4-0 lead. Kaliyev scored his first of the WJC on the power play at 8:18 to make it 5-0, Caufield scored his first on a snap shot from the right circle at 10:22 for a 6-0 lead, and Boldy scored a power-play goal at 11:22 for a 7-0 advantage.

The win was the seventh straight by the United States against the Czech Republic at the WJC, and they are 8-2-0-1 against them in their past 11 games. The Czech Republic last won against the United States in preliminary-round action at the 2012 WJC, 5-2 on Dec. 30, 2011.

The United States will conclude preliminary-round action against Sweden (2-0-0-0) on Thursday (9:30 p.m. ET; NHLN). The quarterfinals are Jan. 2.

 

On tap

All games on NHL Network in U.S., TSN and RDS in Canada

Switzerland vs. Canada (6 p.m. ET) — Defending champion Canada (2-0-0-0) will have forward Dylan Holloway (Edmonton Oilers) back in the lineup. Holloway, who missed a 3-1 win against Slovakia on Sunday with an upper-body injury, returned to practice Monday on a line with center Connor McMichael (Washington Capitals) and right wing Dylan Cozens (Buffalo Sabres). Coach Andre Tourigny also had center Alex Newhook (Colorado Avalanche) with left wing Cole Perfetti (Winnipeg Jets) and right wing Peyton Krebs (Vegas Golden Knights) at practice. Canada has outscored its opposition 19-3 and is tied with Finland for first place in Group A with six points. Switzerland (0-0-0-2) has lost 1-0 to Slovakia and 4-1 to Finland.

Russia vs. Austria (9:30 p.m. ET) — Russia (1-0-0-1) looks to rebound after its 2-0 loss to the Czech Republic on Sunday. Russia, which had not been shut out at the World Junior Championship since a 1-0 overtime loss to Sweden in the championship game of the 2012 WJC, is 0-for-5 on the power play through two games. Goalie Iaroslav Askarov (Nashville Predators) has a 2.54 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage in two games. Austria (0-0-0-2), which is playing at the top level of the World Juniors for the first time since 2010, is last in Group B and has been outscored 15-0.

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