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World Juniors

WJC roundup: Kings forward Byfield scores six points in Canada win

Ducks prospect Zegras powers U.S. past Czech Republic; Russia tops Austria

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

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

 

Day 5 games

Russia 7, Austria 1: Vasily Podkolzin (Vancouver Canucks) scored two goals and had an assist, and Russia clinched a berth in the quarterfinals of the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship with a Group B preliminary-round win Tuesday.

Egor Afanasyev (Nashville Predators) had a goal and two assists, Marat Khusnutdinov (Minnesota Wild), Rodion Amirov (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Artemi Kniazev (San Jose Sharks) each had a goal and an assist, and Roman Bychkov (Boston Bruins) had three assists for Russia (2-0-0-1).

Artur Akhtyamov (Maple Leafs) made 17 saves in his tournament debut for Russia.

Russia forward Yegor Chinakhov (Columbus Blue Jackets) left the game after he sustained a lower-body injury falling to the ice and crashing into the boards in right-wing corner 3:54 into the first period.

Amirov gave Russia a 1-0 lead on a penalty shot 4:04 into the first. Podkolzin, Russia's captain, scored his first two goals of the tournament at 6:11 and 13:44 for a 3-0 lead before Khusnutdinov made it 4-0 at 16:19.

"We just tried to play our hockey, tried to find the chemistry between the lines, and I think it went well," Russia defenseman Yan Kuznetsov (Calgary Flames) said. "Our coach (Igor Larionov) doesn't want us to just get rid of the puck but find the better option, move the puck to your partner, and maybe get a good rebound (to) the far pad of the goalie. Play smart hockey."

Senna Peeters (2021 NHL Draft eligible) scored Austria's first goal of the tournament on a shot from the slot 7:38 into the second period to make it 4-1. It was the first goal for Austria at the World Juniors since January 2010, the last time the country played at the top level of the tournament.

Kniazev scored on a slap shot from the point to give Russia a 5-1 lead 1:46 into the third period. Afanasiev scored at 17:44 to make it 6-1, and Arseny Gritsyuk (New Jersey Devils) made it 7-1 at 18:29.

Jakob Brandner (2021 draft eligible) made 43 saves for Austria.

Russia can clinch first place in Group B with a victory against Sweden (2-0-0-0) in its final preliminary-round game Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN, RDS). The quarterfinals are Jan. 2.

Austria (0-0-0-3), which has been outscored 22-1, will conclude play in Group B against the Czech Republic on Thursday (2 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN, RDS).

 

Canada 10, Switzerland 0: Quinton Byfield (Los Angeles Kings) scored six points to help Canada secure a berth in the quarterfinals of the World Junior Championship with a Group A preliminary-round win.

Byfield had two goals and four assists, Jakob Pelletier (Calgary Flames) had two goals and an assist, and Jack Quinn (Buffalo Sabres) had three assists for Canada (3-0-0-0). Devon Levi (Florida Panthers) earned his third straight win with 15 saves.

Noah Patenaude (2021 draft eligible) made 42 saves for Switzerland (0-0-0-3).

Philip Tomasino (Predators) gave Canada a 1-0 lead 1:30 into the first period.

Dylan Cozens (Sabres) scored a power-play goal at 1:40 of the second period to make it 2-0. Canada got goals from Pelletier at 8:02, Ryan Suzuki (Carolina Hurricanes) on the power play at 13:44 and Connor McMichael (Washington Capitals) at 17:53 for a 5-0 lead.

Byfield scored his first goal of the tournament off a deflection in the slot on the power play at 5:16 of the third period for a 6-0 lead.

"I think that's a big relief," said Byfield, who was selected by Los Angeles with the No. 2 pick of the 2020 NHL Draft. "Not getting a goal last year (in the 2020 WJC) definitely hurt a little bit, but I wouldn't trade last year for anything because I still came home with a gold medal. I mean, that's the objective. It's the same thing here. I just go out there every night and try and contribute as much as I can, so I'm definitely happy with that."

Byfield made it 7-0 at 8:07 before Cole Perfetti (Winnipeg Jets) scored his first of the tournament at 9:09, Kaiden Guhle (Montreal Canadiens) scored at 13:28, and Pelletier scored at 15:35 for the 10-0 final score.

Canada forward Dylan Holloway (Edmonton Oilers) returned to the lineup after missing a 3-1 win against Slovakia on Sunday with an upper-body injury.

Canada, which has outscored the opposition 29-3 in three games, will conclude preliminary-round action against Finland (2-0-0-0) on Thursday (6 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN, RDS).

"I think we're much better (than at the beginning of the tournament)," Canada coach Alex Tourigny said. "I think we have more chemistry, we have less hesitation in our game, we have more structure, we have more confidence, we know more who we are. We're a hard forechecking team, with the ability to counterattack really quickly and quickly strike."

 

United States 7, Czech Republic 0: Trevor Zegras (Anaheim Ducks) scored five points, Spencer Knight (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.

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

"I loved the way we played," Zegras said. "Any time you beat a team 7-0, regardless of who you're playing, it's an awesome team game and I think [Knight] got a lot of his confidence back, and a couple guys who haven't scored got on the board tonight so I think we're headed in the right direction for sure."

Video: Trevor Zegras joins Jill Savage after a two-goal game

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 Dec. 25.

The United States, which won 11-0 against Austria on Dec. 26, earned 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).

"Obviously not the start I wanted, but that's part of hockey," Knight said. "You can't play perfect all the time, and especially these tournaments. It's important to shake it off even though it could be hard sometimes. I think I relied on coming back to the rink the next day and getting a little skate in and having a good practice and game."

Lukas Parik (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 the 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 wrist shot from the left circle 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 prescout (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, TSN, RDS).

Video: Breakdown of the USA game from the guys who called it

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