In a defensive special, Boston College goaltender and Florida Panthers prospect Spencer Knight stopped all 34 shots he faced to clinch the United States’ first gold since 2017.
Knight recorded his third shutout of the tournament, more than ever for an American goaltender in the tournament. Additionally, forward and Anaheim Ducks draft pick Trevor Zegras led the tournament with 18 points. He is the second highest American player in tournament history. Zegras also tied the record for most points by an American in his world junior career with 27 in the last two world juniors.
The United States took the lead in the first period after a reorientation at the front end of Los Angeles Kings prospect Alex Turcotte. The goal was the first five-on-five goal Canada had allowed throughout the World Junior Championship and the first time it was lagging behind at any point in the tournament.
Zegras extended the Americans’ lead 32 seconds into the second period when he collected the puck and passed it past Canadian goaltender Devon Levi, who was leaning the wrong way.
The goal tied Zegras with former NHL player Jordan Schroeder for USA Hockey’s all-time lead at the World Junior Championship with his 27th point in the last two tournaments.
Zegras also landed second on the United States’ single tournament scorers list, posting 18 points to lead all players at the 2021 World Juniors. He passed Jeremy Roenick and fell a timid record-breaking All Time Doug Weight 19, established in 1991.
Canada beat opponents 41-4 before Tuesday night’s final in their attempt to repeat as junior world champions.
The victory gave USA Hockey its fourth straight victory over Canada in a World Junior Championship final, having claimed victories in 2004, 2010, 2017 and 2021 in tournament history.