2021 IIHF World Junior Championships: Semifinal Recap

Canada/USA for the Gold, Russia/Finland for Bronze

Canada-5, Russia- 0

From the get-go Canada had their foot on the accelerator. Alex Newhook came into the game like a man possessed and his line of himself, Krebs, and Jack Quinn took control of the game from the early going to give Canada their first goal.

Quinn ended up with a secondary assist as he passed to Schneider who gave it to Newhook at the blue line and he put on a one-man show to score the opening goal.

Dylan Cozens ended up with two secondary assists and an empty net goal to put him just 6 points back from Eric Lindros’ all-time team Canada points leader in the World Juniors. With two points in the gold medal game he will pass Jordan Eberle and Brayden Schenn and be in sole possession of second all time in World Junior Championship points for team Canada.

After being hooked on a breakaway; Cozens had a chance to add to his goal total with a penalty shot but Askarov made a miraculous save with his skate.

Cozens ended the game with 16:53 in ice time, 3 points, and 6 shots,

Jack Quinn continued to show his defensive ability tonight while playing alongside Krebs and Newhook. The trio looked to be the best line for Canada to begin the game, and Quinn’s physical presence was made known as he was able to generate a few turnovers by throwing his body around on the forecheck.

Quinn finished the night with with 15:49 in ice time, 1 assist, and 1 shot on goal. Quinn was carried by Newhook (and to a lesser extent Krebs) in the possession game tonight. The Cozens line 5v5 wasn’t anything to write home about, but Cozens was able to capitalize on a secondary power play assist and a great pass from Pelletier to McMichael 5v5.

USA-4, Finland-3

Ryan Johnson continues to shine in the World Juniors. He had almost 20 minutes of ice time and continues to be a bright spot in the USA defense in terms of defensive zone break ups and transition play. After a poor DY+1 year in Minnesota last year; Johnson seems to be on a very positive trajectory with his start in Minnesota and now in the World Juniors.

For one, his puck retrieval ability is eons better than it was last year in Minnesota.

Not only that but his controlled exits (which I was concerned with going into this year) data has been amongst the best in the tournament.

If you don’t believe me that Ryan Johnson has improved dramatically from last year to this year...here’s a few national scouts giving their own opinions:

While Brock Faber really mitigated my optimism for Johnson in Minnesota; Johnson anchoring his own pairing here in the WJC has shown his ability to play as the central transition facilitator and still anchor the backend defensively.

Tonight Johnson finished with 19:59 in ice time with 0 points and 0 shots on goal.

Up Next - Tuesday, January 5

Russia/Finland (Bronze Medal game): 5:30pm EST

USA/Canada (Gold medal game): 9:30pm EST