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2021 IIHF World Junior Championships: Quarter Final Recap

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Russia holds on; Finland wins in the last minute; Canada eases to victory;

United States v Slovakia: Quarterfinals - 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

Canada 3- Czech Republic 0

Another day in the World Juniors, and another goal for Dylan Cozens.

Cozens scored his seventh goal of the tournament (and 13th point) to open up the scoring for Canada in their eventual 3-0 victory. He has been simply dominant in his first five games of the tournament and is battling Trevor Zegras for for the MVP of the World Juniors.

While he ended up the game with just a goal, that doesn’t mean he was devoid of high quality chances

Cozens also assisted on the Bowen Byram goal with a secondary assist as he hit a streaking Krebs who put a shot on net, and Byram picked up the rebound and walked it back before putting a laser past Nick Malik.

With at least two games remaining, Cozens sits sixth all time in points scored in the World Juniors for Canada trailing Eric Lindros’ 31 points by nine points.

Jack Quinn had a very good game defensively. He was very good on his backcheck and very good in the defensive zone. I think an underappreciated part of his game (for me at least) is how good he is with his stick in board battles and in the defensive zone. Quinn had some great opportunities to play the majority of the game with 2020 second overall pick Quinton Byfield and 2019 first round pick Jakob Pelletier and playing the majority of the third period with 2019 first round picks Ryan Suzuki and Philip Tomasino.

Offensively, I thought the great Lauren Kelly (Elite Prospect and FC Hockey scout) summed it up best

He looked a lot like he did in the beginning of the Canada scrimmages from a month ago tonight: passive with very simple plays in the offensive zone. This is probably why he saw himself get demoted down to Suzuki and Tomasino for the third period. He ended the game with no points, one shot, and 14:14 of ice time.

Russia 2- Germany 1

John-Jason Peterka’s tournament ended in a fantastic 2-1 game with Russia. The Peterka/Stuetzle/Elias line continued their dominance by recording the only goal (Elias scored unassisted) and ending the tournament scoring 13 of the 15 goals that Germany had in the tournament’s entirety.

While he didn’t get an assist for this goal; Peterka had an excellent zone entry and drive to the net that led to the Florian Elias goal.

Peterka was involved in a couple of chances that almost tied the game. He had a semi-breakaway in the early goings of the third period that he couldn’t capitalize on as he was caught from behind.

Florian Elias almost tipped in a Peterka shot that hit the crossbar in the third period that could’ve tied the game as well.

This was one heck of a tournament for Peterka. He finishes with 4 goals, 10 points in just 5 games. He always looked like a great North/South player who had a heavy shot, but in this tournament he looked like a creator of opportunities and did well driving play on his own. As he moves to the DEL for the rest of the season it wouldn’t be surprising to see him continue his upward trajectory and move to North American hockey next year.

USA 5- Slovakia 2

Ryan Johnson had one of the most impressive performances I’ve seen from him in the tournament from start to finish. He was tremendous in transition, was a stalwart in the defensive zone, and has started to show some offensive ability that was flashed in his draft eligible year.

After a beautiful PP goal from Kaliyev assisted by Boldy; Ryan Johnson helped Team USA get their second goal.

A noticeable difference between Johnson’s game from last year to this year has been his aggression in picking his spots to get involved in transition and in the offensive zone. Perhaps a Mythic poll is needed for this next clip as the NHL Network commentators debated that Johnson should have shot the puck (I contend he had the right idea just needed a better pass) but plays like this were rare last year:

My favorite play Ryan Johnson made all night was this zone entry and pass as well:

Johnson finished the game with 17:16 in ice time with an assist.

The US was led by John Farinacci’s (3rd round 2019, Arizona Coyotes) two goals while both Bobby Brink (2nd round 2019, Phliadephia) and Trevor Zegras (1st round 2019, Anaheim) each added two assists. Cole Caufield, Arthur Kaliyev, and Matthew Beniers (empty net) tallied the other three goals.

Finland-3, Sweden-2

Sweden started off scoring the first two goals with one from Lucas Raymond and this beauty of a goal on the powerplay by Elmer Soderblom:

Finland dominated the final two periods outshooting the Swedes 27-13 and clawed their way back with goals from Henri Nikkanen and Anton Lundell to tie the game up in the third period.

The game was decided when Toronto Maple Leafs’ prospect Roni Hirvonen put in this goal with under a minute left to give Finland the lead and seal the victory.

Up Next

Canada vs. Russia (6pm, 1/2/21)

USA vs. Finland (9:30pm, 1/2/21)

You can watch the games on NHL Network in the US or TSN in Canada.