2020 has been robust, to say the least, however you left the very best reward for final. An evening-capper of Russia versus the US. The very best preliminary matchup. On Christmas Day. Thanks buddy. You are the very best.
Love, hockey followers all over the place.
It has been 16 years since world juniors kicked off on Christmas Day — which additionally featured the identical two groups going at it again then — and like all good ‘ol assembly between two large rivals (i.e. Miracle on Ice) this Russia-USA contest is predicted to be a drag-out, no-holds-barred, barnburner.
Two of the highest three groups within the match assembly on opening day of the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship with the winner taking, what’s anticipated to be, management of Group B and due to this fact a better path to gold. Except for being a scene-setter for the subsequent 12 days, it is also a key alternative for various gamers to showcase simply what they plan to carry to the match.
American Cole Caufield has had this date circled on his calendar for the reason that day final yr’s match led to disappointment for the U.S. The Wisconsin standout had excessive expectations final yr and solely collected two factors (purpose, help) in 5 video games. He is been decided to show that final yr was a fluke, and a giant sport within the group’s greatest sport for the round-robin will present it is a new yr.
But it surely will not be simple for Caufield and his cohorts as they face a dynamic puckstopper on the opposite finish in Yaroslav Askarov. The Russian netminder at simply 18 has torched the competitors within the KHL this season and can also be on a little bit of a redemption tour after a poor 2020 displaying.
So seize the eggnog, fruitcake and Chinese language meals as Sporting Information has all of the heart-thumping motion between these two powerhouses in Recreation 1 of the match.
(All instances Japanese.)
USA vs. Russia scores, highlights from 2021 World Juniors preliminary sport
11:19 p.m. — Third interval is a go.
11:14 p.m. — Pleasant reminder: Canada acquired shellacked by Russia in final yr’s preliminary spherical and nonetheless gained gold.
Second interval: Russia 4, USA 1
11:00 p.m. — Some pleasantries being stated on the finish of the interval. Perhaps that’ll spark the People.
10:54 p.m. — The second shot Wolf faces? A partial breakaway that he saves. Wolf is a strong netminder and might be a No. 1 on some other group.
10:48 p.m. — Knight has been pulled after permitting 4 targets on 12 photographs. Flames prospect Dustin Wolf is in. Knight didn’t have an excellent 2020 tourney (2-2, 2.49 GAA, .913 save proportion) and was in search of a greater end in 2021. This was not the beginning he was in search of.
10:47 p.m. — GOAL. Wow. Spencer Knight not having a great evening. Performs a puck that was being iced and turns it proper over to Russia’s Ilya Safonov who scores as Knight tries to scramble again. Russia leads 4-1.
10:43 p.m. — GOAL. Off a dump-in, People flip it over (Jake Sanderson) as they stand round and Vasily Ponomaryov (CAR) will get his second of the sport. Russia leads 3-1.
10:39 p.m. — USA heads to the facility play. They might get some zone time however nothing got here of it.
10:32 p.m. — My goodness. Cole Caufield has some silky mitts.
10:30 p.m. — GOAL. What a head-man cross by Maxim Groshev (TBL) — you do not see it within the video however it was ridiculously good because it got here from the defensive zone — to Zakhar Bardakov (2021 eligible) who breaks in a beats Knight five-hole. Russia leads 2-1.
10:29 p.m. — People getting some good possibilities early on as Bobby Brink misses a wide-open web.
10:28 p.m. — This can be a head-scratcher.
Cole Caufield, who assisted on USA’s purpose, had simply 2:58 TOI within the first interval. Solely Brett Berard (54 seconds) and Sam Colangelo (2:02) had much less. #WorldJuniors
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) December 26, 2020
10:27 p.m. — Second interval is underway.
10:12 p.m. — Some intermission studying — It is gold or bust’: NHL gamers look again on World Junior Championship recollections
First interval: USA 1, Russia 1
10:04 p.m. — Russia heads to the facility play with 3:22 left on the clock. (They do not get a lot motion.)
9:58 p.m. — GOAL. Captain Cam York (PHI) sends the puck to the online and — whereas initially thought Matthew Boldy deflected however was modified throughout intermission — the puck squeaks between the arm and physique of Askarov. Recreation tied 1-1.
9:55 p.m. — Trevor Zegras and Yaroslav Askarov are a modern-day Sean Avery and Martin Brodeur.
9:52 p.m. — People decide issues up now and have a great chunk of offensive zone time with Matthew Boldy and Cole Caufield getting some attractiveness. USA lastly with photographs on web (about 12 minutes in, yikes).
9:49 p.m. — GOAL. Russia controls the puck off a dump-in and Hurricanes prospect Vasily Ponomaryov with a masterful deflection that sends the puck fluttering previous Knight. Russia leads 1-0.
9:44 p.m. — Energy play ends because the People struggled with zone entry and could not get arrange. They do not register a shot on web — and actually, with greater than six minutes ticked off, they do not have a single shot within the sport. Russia has three.
9:42 p.m. — USA will get an influence play as Alex Turcotte will get taken down whereas driving to the online. Not a great begin for the Russians because the People have some firepower.
9:40 p.m. — Each groups got here out seeking to set the tempo however up to now simply quite a lot of up-and-down hockey with neither group sustaining any stress.
9:40 p.m. — USA will get fortunate as that they had too many males however did not get caught.
9:38 p.m. — “Nice day for hockey.” Puck has been dropped.
9:22 p.m. — It’s going to be Askarov vs. Knight. Buckle up.
9:10 p.m. — For those who missed this from earlier at the moment, it’s best to undoubtedly watch it now.
Cole Caufield and Trevor Zegras had been the final ones on the ice at Crew USA follow as a result of they don’t depart till they tip the final puck right into a bucket 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/3ba6Oe3xnT
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) December 25, 2020
8:50 p.m. — How the Russians will go.
Crew Russia strains #WorldJuniors
(Bychkov, Bashkirov) https://t.co/gSKvSNJlD6
— Gillian Kemmerer (@gilliankemmerer) December 26, 2020
8:23 p.m. — That top-6.
7:12 p.m. — Preparing.
World Juniors 2021: Newest information