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World Junior Hockey Championship 2021 Results: Quarterfinal Scores and Reaction

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IJanuary 3, 2021

Jakub Minarik of Slovakia, left, and Barrett Hayton of Canada, in action during the 2020 IIHF World Junior Ice Hockey Championships quarterfinal match between Canada and Slovakia in Ostrava, Czech Republic, Thursday Jan. 2, 2020. (Jaroslav Ozana/CTK via AP)
Ozana Jaroslav/Associated Press

The World Junior Championships are inching closer to a gold-medal game between Canada and the United States. 

Only Russia and Finland can stop it.

The two North American powerhouses made easy work of their quarterfinal draws Saturday as the U.S. downed Slovakia and Canada shut out the Czech Republic. Dylan Cozens and Trevor Zegras continued their battle for the title of the WJC's leading scorer, and each earned at least one more game to make their mark. 

Here's a look at how the action played out at Rogers Place. 

      

2020 World Junior Hockey Championships: Quarterfinals 

Russia def. Germany, 2-1

Finland def. Sweden, 3-2

Canada def. Czech Republic, 3-0

USA def. Slovakia, 5-2

             

Notable Performers

Dylan Cozens, F, Canada: 1 goal, 1 assist 

Levi Devon, G, Canada: 29 saves, 0 goals allowed

Danil Bashkirov, F, Russia: 1 goal

Tim Stuetzle, F, Germany: 0 points, 3 SOG

Lucas Raymond, F, Sweden: 1 goal, 1 assist

John Farinacci, F, USA: 2 goals, 7 SOG

Trevor Zegras, F, USA: 2 assists, 4 SOG

         

2020 World Junior Hockey Championship: Semifinals (Jan. 4)

Canada vs. Russia

USA vs. Finland 

       

Russia 2, Germany 1

Tim Stuetzle's tournament is over. His NHL career is on deck. 

The No. 3 pick of the Ottawa Senators in 2020 couldn't keep his scoring touch alive, and it cost Germany a spot in the semifinals. After posting five goals and five assists in the preliminary round, Stuetzle couldn't get on the scoresheet Saturday, save for the misfortune of being on the ice for a goal against. 

Instead, it was Russia and its sensational goalie, Yaroslav Askarov, powering through to a Monday matchup with Canada, which will have a trip to the gold-medal game on the line. 

Russia broke open the scoring midway through the first period with a short-handed goal from Vasili Ponomaryov.

The fourth-liner caught Germany's defensemen off guard while cherry-picking at center ice, while Russia seemingly grabbed the puck for a clearing attempt. Instead, defenseman Semyon Chistyakov sent a stretch pass right onto the stick of Ponomaryov, who skated in alone and deked his way into an open net for the goal. 

Russia struck again midway through the second period as Yegor Afanasyev found Danil Bashkirov with a pass from behind the net that he put into the top left corner. 

Florian Elias got one goal back early in the third period, but Askarov, a 2020 first-round draft pick of the Nashville Predators, turned away the other seven shots he saw in the frame to skate off with 19 saves on 20 attempts.

        

Finland 3, Sweden 2

Arguably the most dramatic game of Saturday's slate saw Finland rally from a 2-0 first-period deficit to stun the Swedes and advance to the semis. 

Lucas Raymond and Elmer Soderblom scored 97 seconds apart late in the first, only for Sweden to get shut out the rest of the game. 

Anton @antonj85

Elmer Söderblom gör 2-0 till Sverige, framspelad av Lucas Raymond. #WorldJuniors #LGRW #RedWings https://t.co/NpUgAoefnV

It was a minor breakthrough for Raymond, a Detroit Red Wings prospect, who struggled to get on the scoresheet throughout his tournament run despite playing on Sweden's top line. However, his lone goal on Saturday showed why the Red Wings think so highly of him.

The forward drifted down the left half-boards looking to pass until he got below the faceoff dot and quickly turned to fire on net. Raymond had both the defense and goalie Kari Piiroinen fooled, as they bit so hard in trying to block passing lanes that it opened up a window straight to the net. 

Anton @antonj85

Lucas Raymond gör 1-0 till Sverige, framspelad av Albert Johansson. #WorldJuniors #LGRW #RedWings https://t.co/0vaHmPECtG

It's a great note to end on as Raymond heads off to training camp in Detroit next week. The rest of Sweden wasn't much luckier. 

Finland began to climb back with a second-period goal from forward Henri Nikkanen before Anton Lundell evened things up at two with a power-play goal midway through the third period. Roni Hirvonen would get to play the hero for the Fins to end the night. 

E.J. Hradek @EJHradek_NHL

Terrific game. The right team won based on the play over the last 2 periods. The Finns really had the Swedes on their heels over the last 40 minutes. Worked smart and hard to get the victory after being down 0-2.

E.J. Hradek @EJHradek_NHL

Finnish prospect Brad Lambert, who just turned 17 on 12/19, is an absolute joy to watch. Not eligible for the NHL draft until 2022! His uncle is Lane Lambert, former NHLer and current @NYIslanders assistant coach. Young Brad is a brilliant young player!!

Just when it seemed like Finland missed its opportunity at a game-winner only moments before, Hirvonen picked up a loose puck behind the net and jammed it past the pads of Hugo Alnefelt (31 saves, 3 goals allowed) with 25 seconds remaining. 

           

Canada 3, Czech Republic 0 

Canada's leading scorer used the quarterfinals to pad his point total and make history. 

Center Dylan Cozens notched a goal and an assist to move to 13 points in five games (seven goals, six assists) and passed John Tavares for the sixth-most career points at the WJC in team history (22 points). Not bad for a 19-year-old in his second tournament. 

StatsCentre @StatsCentre

Recording a goal & assist so far tonight to help put #TeamCanada up 2-0 on the Czech Republic in 1st period of their #WorldJuniors Quarter-Final matchup, Dylan Cozens has passed John Tavares's 20 for the 6th most career #WJC points by a player in Canada's tournament history (22) https://t.co/CcVWigq4aD

Cozens vs. Canadian history turned out to be a better matchup than Canada vs. Czech Republic, as the tournament's host nation moved onto the semifinals as expected. 

Connor McMichael also added a goal and an assist with a game-high four shots on net as Devon Levi backstopped his way to a second shutout in his last three games. Levi made 29 saves Saturday after turning aside all 15 shots he faced in a preliminary game against Switzerland.

The Florida Panthers prospect leads all goalies in the tournament with a 0.64 goals against average and 96.7 save percentage. He's given up three goals total on 91 shot attempts. 

Chris Peters @chrismpeters

Canada beats the Czech Republic 3-0 to advance to the semis. Good QF for them as CZE didn't allow anything to come too easy. Talent and depth were always going to win out in this one, though. USA vs. Slovakia coming up in an hour to determine last SF spot.

That'll be an extremely tough challenge against Russia in the semis as Levi and Cozens continue to provide all the firepower the Canadians need.

         

USA 5, Slovakia 2

The Americans remained as dominant as they've looked all tournament, setting WJC records en route to a 5-2 victory over Slovakia that momentarily got too close for comfort. 

Heading into the game, the United States had scored 22 unanswered goals and would score three more against Slovakia before the streak was snapped by Matei Kaslik with barely 90 seconds left in the second period. The U.S. holds the longest team shutout streak in WJC history at 218 minutes, 53 seconds. 

Slovakia can take pride in making sure it didn't go on a second longer, if nothing else. 

John Farinacci netted two goals, and forward Trevor Zegras added two assists to move his tournament-leading point total to 15 (six goals, nine assists) and remain two points ahead of Canada's Cozens. 

USA Hockey @usahockey

Hard work led to this goal 💪 #USAWJC | #WorldJuniors https://t.co/ILtmJGlXY7

Cole Caufield showed off his absurd accuracy and strength with a five-on-three power-play goal late in the second period as he rifled a snap shot past goalie Simon Latkoczy (41 shot attempts, 4 goals allowed). 

Brady Trettenero @BradyTrett

Absolute snipe from Cole Caufield (📹: @TSN_Sports) https://t.co/4aIVmBVbCP

Dominik Sojka scored the second goal of the night for Slovakia midway through the third period to make it a 3-2 game with 10 minutes to play, but the U.S. responded with Farinacci's second of the contest just six minutes later. When the pressure turned up, the Americans were ready to match it. 

That'll certainly come in handy on Monday when they take on a high-scoring Finland team with a berth in the championship game on the line. 

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