During NHL Network’s 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship gold-medal game pregame show, Team USA’s Trevor Zegras offered some bold thoughts during his interview with reporter Jill Savage.
“What’s going to be the difference? What’s going to give you that slight edge to take this one?” Savage asked him.
“I honestly don’t think (Canada’s) been tested with a real team yet and I think we’re kind of going on all cylinders right now,” Zegras responded matter-of-factly. “I think we’re gonna catch them by surprise and I think we’ll go from there.”
The Americans did just that — powered by Zegras.
In the first period, he sent the puck up to Drew Helleson at the point. The defenseman then put it on net and Alex Turcotte deflected it home. The goal marked the first 5-on-5 goal the Canadians have allowed in the entire tournament.
Then, just 32 seconds into the second period, it was the 2019 Ducks first-rounder again — this time with the goal. Arthur Kaliyev sent the puck deep, and it should have wrapped around but instead hit the back pipe on the outside and popped back the way it came. Because of that, Canada goalie Devon Levi leaned the wrong way and Zegras managed to tuck the puck into the net.
Zegras entered the game tied with Canada’s Dylan Cozens for the tournament’s scoring lead. He finished with 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) and was named the tournament’s MVP. The assist tied him with Jordan Schroeder for most USA career assists in world juniors history (20) and after the goal, tied Schroeder in points (27).
Before answering the question noted above, Zegras was asked about the Canadians’ perfect 5-on-5 play.
“I honestly don’t think this goalie’s been tested 5-on-5 yet,” he said regarding Levi.
In the end, the two 5-on-5 goals sealed the deal as the Americans won 2-0 and captured the gold medal.