Eight players return from the United States’ 2020 team that left the Czech Republic empty-handed following a disappointing sixth-place finish. Those players, along with the rest of this year’s team, now enter a Boxing Day meeting at the 2021 edition with another loss under their belt. Following a tough 4-3 loss to the Russians on Christmas, the Americans are right back on the ice taking on Austria.
While the Austrians may not have Russia’s power and talent, they do sport a bonafide star in Wild prospect Marco Rossi. He’s an offensive threat every time he’s on the ice and could wreak havoc on the U.S. defense. In 56 games last year for the Ottawa 67’s, he potted 39 goals and 120 points — tops among all scorer’s in the OHL (and the CHL) as he won the league’s Red Tilson Trophy as the most outstanding player.
Dustin Wolf will be in between the pipes for the Americans, making his first start of the tournament. (The Flames prospect did relieve Spencer Knight on Friday night after the Panthers prospect allowed four goals on 12 shots; Wolf stopped each of the 11 shots he saw). Per coach Nate Leaman, he was going to get the start anyway on Saturday, but a good game could change the narrative and make it Wolf’s starter’s net to lose. He was a standout last year for the Everett Silvertips, posting a 1.88 GAA and .935 save percentage in 46 games on his way to the WHL’s top goaltending prize, the Del Wilson Trophy.
Wolf will hope the United States team that shows up Saturday is the same one that mounted a comeback late in the third period to make it a one-goal game against Russia — not the one that allowed the score to become lopsided at 4-1 in the first place. It is a tweaked roster for Leaman, including Tyler Kleven slotting in on defense.
Sporting News had all the action as the United States bounced back with a commanding 11-0 win over Austria.
(All times Eastern)
USA vs. Austria scores, highlights from 2021 World Juniors preliminary game
Final score: USA 11, Austria 0
Third period: USA 11, Austria 0
12:00 a.m. — With 67 seconds left in the game Patrick Moynihan makes a pass in the neutral zone and takes a blindsided late hit to the head from Philipp Wimmer who is tossed from the game and will surely face a suspension.
11:57 p.m. — Austria gets a power play. They now have 10 shots on net, while the US has 72.
11:45 p.m. — GOAL. Welcome to the game Bradner, try to stop this pass across the slot from Brock Faber to a wide-open Sam Colangelo who buries the one-timer — for a birthday goal. USA leads 11-0.
11:43 p.m. — Sebastian Wraneschitz makes a great save as he slides across to stop Bobby Brink and he stays down, grabbing the back of his left leg. He leaves the game stopping 58 of 68 shots. Jakob Brandner comes in.
11:36 p.m. — GOAL. Matthew Boldy completes the hat trick as Trevor Zegras finds him cutting to the net. Boldy was cut from last year’s team and he’s showing why that was a mistake. USA leads 10-0.
11:35 p.m. — Make that 60 shots on net.
11:31 p.m. — GOAL. Brendan Brisson gets his second of the game on a garbage goal as he cleans up the rebound. USA leads 9-0.
11:29 p.m. — GOAL. Brett Berard turns on the jets and scores. USA leads 8-0.
11:27 p.m. — Third period underway. USA has 52 shots to Austria’s five.
Second period: USA 7, Austria 0
11:05 p.m. — PP GOAL. Seconds into a power play, The point shot Arthur Kaliyev handcuffs the goalie and Matthew Boldy knocks in the loose puck. USA leads 7-0.
10:58 p.m. — Best chance for the Austrians as Marco Rossi feeds a wide-open Tim Harnisch in the slot but he rings it off the post.
10:57 p.m. — GOAL. The Matt’s connect. Matthew Beniers (top prospect for 2021) with a nifty pass across the Royal Road to Matthew Boldy who buries it. USA leads 6-0.
10:51 p.m. — GOAL. Zegras again. This time he finds daylight above the shoulder of the netminder. What a shot by the Ducks prospect. USA leads 5-0.
10:49 p.m. — Halfway mark of the game and the U.S. is outshooting Austria 34-4.
10:46 p.m. — PP GOAL. Brendan Brisson (VGK) fires the one-timer from the right circle. A blast that goes right under the glove. USA leads 4-0.
10:44 p.m. — Add Matt Boldy (MIN) to the “ringing it off the pipe party.” That may be about five now for the United States.
10:44 p.m. — USA gets a power play. They struggled with man advantage against Russia.
10:40 p.m. — GOAL. John Farinacci (ARI), who scored Friday night too, flips it up top over the glove of Sebastian Wraneschitz. USA leads 3-0.
10:38 p.m. — GOAL. Trevor Zegras (ANA) gets the puck in the right circle and fires the shot from the dot for the goal. USA leads 2-0.
10:31 p.m. — Second period underway.
First period: USA 1, Austria 0
10:14 p.m. — Americans outshoot the Austrians 22-3 in the first period. What a turn of events from Friday.
10:12 p.m. — Cam York (PHI) rings one off the post. Americans buzzing as time is winding down in the period.
10:11 p.m. — Americans are flying and have another chance as it gets through the netminder and sits in the paint before Luis Lindner bats it away.
10:08 p.m. — Trevor Zegras (ANA) zings one off the pipe. Play continues and the Americans crash the net and try to push the puck in (shot did go off the post and was refereed). Referee (is Wes McCauley in the bubble?) says, “We’re good. Thank you.”
10:04 — GOAL. Americans have a good zone entry and the pass appears to go off the stick and skate of Drew Helleson (COL), heads to the net and squeak past goalie Sebastian Wraneschitz. (BTW, this goal was credited to Alex Turcotte, Arthur Kaliyev and I think Trevor Zegras too before going to the rightful owner). USA leads 1-0.
9:56 p.m. — Cole Caufield (MTL) has an empty net chance as the goalie is out of position but a great play by the defenseman Philipp Wimmer.
9:53 p.m. — At the 10-minute mark of the first, the Americans get their 10th shot on goal.
9:50 p.m. — Johnson takes an undisciplined penalty but Austrian could not capitalize.
9:44 p.m. — The majority of the game so far has been spent in the Austrian zone. Through the first five minutes, shots are 6-1 in favor of the United States. Friday night they didn’t get the first shot until more than 10 minutes in.
9:39 p.m. — Arthur Kaliyev (LAK) gets a good chance. USA already looking a little better than Friday night.
9:37 p.m. — Game on. Referees welcoming teams at the faceoff dot may be my favorite thing of the tournament.
World Juniors 2021: Latest news