Team USA is back in the final game of the World Junior Hockey Championships for the second straight year.
In yesterday’s semi-final, they beat Finland by a score of 4-3 in what was an exhilarating hockey game.
Victory Over Finland Did Not Come Easy
Team USA had the lead 3-1 going into the 3rd period courtesy of goals from alternate captain Alex Turcotte, John Farinacci, and Matthew Boldy. However, Finland found the back of the net twice in the 3rd, making it a tie game with under four minutes to play.
Team USA was able to fend off the Finnish surge, as Turcotte played the hero, netting his second of the night with just over one minute remaining.
Team USA goaltender Spencer Knight was solid in net all night, as he has been all tournament, making 33 of 36 saves (.916%)
The victory was extra sweet for the mainstays of this U20 squad, as Finland was the team who narrowly edged out the USA in the 2019 finals, beating them 3-2.
The Daunting Task Ahead
They will now face a juggernaut in Team Canada, who have not lost all tournament (6-0), and have wildly outscored their opponents 41-4, including a 16-2 victory over Germany, and a 10-0 victory over Switzerland.
Team Canada goaltender Devon Levi will present USA’s biggest challenge.
During Canada’s 5-0 route of Russia in yesterday’s semi-final game, he tied a WJC record for posting his third shutout of the tournament. Even more impressive is that he has allowed just three goals on 116 shots faced (.974%).
Keys To Victory for Team USA
- They have to be solid defensively. Be very strong in front of the net. Help out Spencer Knight.
- Find a way to make Levi uncomfortable. Make him move. Eliminate the shutout early.
- STAY OUT OF THE BOX!
- Do not panic if you go down early.
- No shifts off. Play a full 60 minutes. Even a brief lapse can be monstrous in this game.
- Trust themselves and their teammates.
Betting Lines and Picks
Moneyline: USA: (+310) | CAN: (-425)
Spread: USA: +1.5 (+110) | CAN: -1.5 (-130)
Total: 6 – Over: (even) | Under (-120)
PICK: Team USA +1.5 (+110)
This game is going to be absolutely CAN’T MISS. Puck drops tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET, on NHL Network.