As the old saying goes: “Old is new again”.
Like Monday’s first World Youth Championship semi-final, in which Canada And Russia battled for a place in the gold medal game, the United States-FinlAnd is a rivalry with history. Two years ago, the Finns topped the Americans in the gold medal game when now-Rangers forward Capo Kakko scored the lead goal with 1:26 left. Last year FinlAnd threw a shutout to send the Americans home in the quarterfinals And ruin their hopes of a fifth year in a row with a medal.
Eight players return from last year’s team for the USA (Bobby Brink, Cole Caufield, Arthur Alien, Spencer Knight, Alex Turcotte, Dustin Wolf, Cam York And Trevor Zebras), while Knight was one of three goalkeepers in 2019. FinlAnd has five returning players from 2020 (Santeri Hakka, Ville Heinola, Mikko Kokkonen, Kari Piiroinen And Aku Rate); Heinola And Anton Lundell, who missed last year with injury, also won gold two years ago.
” I imagine the guys who played in the tournament last year could have something on their shoulders about it. And certainly, we hope to use that to our advantage,” US head coach Nick Leaman said Monday night. Late.
The United States comes into the game after a quarter-final victory over Slovakia on Saturday night. While the final score was 5-2, he was close until John Farinacci scored his second goal of the game, an enveloping backhAnd beauty, in the third. Matthew Deniers iced it with an empty bowl.
Trevor Zebras added two assists And regained the lead in the tournament stAndings against Canadian Dylan Cozens with 15 points (Cozens surpassed him Monday in Canada’s semi-final victory). That total also moves him up the United States’ unique tournaments list, tying him with Hall of Famer Mike Mono (1989). Zebras now has nine assists, matching his number (And total points) from last year And placing him one point behind Jeremy Roderick for second place on the USA Hockey World Juniors career points list.
Knight was solid at the net once again when he stoned the Slovaks with an uncomfortable number of shots from the slot. The Slovaks ‘first goal, by Matej Kali at the end of the second period, ended the Americans’ shutout streak with a youth world record of 218: 53. Knight And Dustin Wolf combined for 245: 07 of shutout time with a goalkeeper on the net. Knight will be back in the tubes for the United States against FinlAnd.
Also, returning is Patrick Moynihan, who missed his second straight game Saturday with injury. The Devils prospect took a Late, high (And, many would say, dirty) hit against Austria (the player was suspended two games for the hit) And was brought down against the Czechs. It will be a welcome addition to the lineup when the Americans take on a strong Finnish team led by Lundell (seven points) And an impressive core of Topi Naively (a Leafs prospect who also has seven points), Jets prospect Heinola. And Hakka. The Americans beat FinlAnd 3-2 in their only adjustment of the tournament.
” I don’t think it’s a different team,” said Leaman, who mentioned that his team watched the New Year’s Eve game between Canada And FinlAnd And noted that Canada plays a similar style to the Americans. ” I certainly came back And saw that game [Sunday] And I’ve seen a couple of their other games, but the teams grow throughout the tournament. You play four games in seven days And you are going to improve; hopefully his weaknesses won’t be that weak. “
In that exhibition game, teams traded power play goals before Cole Caufield scored two. FinlAnd enters this clash after a last-minute win over ScAndinavian rival Sweden.
” They are an annoying team,” Leaman said. ” They stay. They have a very good power play, they have the second best power play in the tournament. [the USA is No. 1]. So I think the discipline of our team will be very important. I think hAndling the record will be important. I think it will be important to try to get them to play in their zone as much as possible. “
Sporting News has all the action as the United States And FinlAnd battle for a spot in the gold medal game against Canada.
(All the eastern time)
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Before the game
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.