Because the previous saying goes: “What’s previous is new once more.”

Like Monday’s first World Junior Championship semifinal, which noticed Canada and Russia battle for a spot within the gold-medal sport, United States-Finland is a rivalry with historical past. Two years in the past, the Finns bested the Individuals within the gold-medal sport when now-Rangers ahead Kaapo Kakko netted the go-ahead purpose with 1:26 on the clock. Final 12 months, Finland pitched a shutout to ship the Individuals residence within the quarterfinals and sprint their hopes of a fifth straight 12 months with a medal.

Eight gamers return from final 12 months’s squad for the U.S. (Bobby Brink, Cole Caufield, Arthur Kaliyev, Spencer Knight, Alex Turcotte, Dustin Wolf, Cam York and Trevor Zegras), whereas Knight was certainly one of three goalies in 2019. Finland has 5 gamers getting back from 2020 (Santeri Hatakka, Ville Heinola, Mikko Kokkonen, Kari Piiroinen and Aku Raty); Heinola and Anton Lundell, who missed final 12 months with an damage, additionally received gold two years in the past.

“I might think about the blokes that performed within the match final 12 months might need a chip on their shoulder about it. And definitely, we hope to make use of that to our benefit,” USA head coach Nick Leaman mentioned Monday afternoon.

The USA comes into the sport off a quarterfinal win Saturday night time over Slovakia. Whereas the ultimate rating was 5-2, it was shut till John Farinacci scored his second purpose of the sport, a great thing about a backhand wraparound, within the third. Matthew Beniers iced it with an empty-netter. 

Trevor Zegras chipped in two assists and retook the match scoring lead from Canada’s Dylan Cozens at 15 factors (Cozens handed him Monday in Canada’s semifinal victory). That whole additionally strikes him up the U.S. single-tournament listing, tying him with Corridor of Famer Mike Modano (1989). Zegras now has 9 assists, matching his quantity (and level whole) from final 12 months and placing him one level behind Jeremy Roenick for second on USA Hockey’s profession World Juniors factors listing.

Knight was strong in web as soon as once more as he stoned the Slovaks on an uncomfortable variety of pictures from the slot. The Slovaks’ first purpose, by Matej Kaslik late within the second interval, ended the Individuals’ shutout streak at a World Juniors-record 218:53. Knight and Dustin Wolf mixed for 245:07 of shutout time with a goalie within the web. Knight shall be again between the pipes for the U.S. in opposition to Finland.

Additionally again shall be Patrick Moynihan, who missed his second consecutive sport Saturday with an damage. The Devils prospect took a late, excessive (and, many would say, soiled) hit in opposition to Austria (the participant was suspended two video games for the hit) and was knocked round in opposition to the Czechs. He’ll be a welcome addition to the lineup because the Individuals tackle a robust Finnish workforce led by Lundell (seven factors) and a formidable core of Topi Niemela (a Leafs prospect who additionally has seven factors), Jets prospect Heinola and Hatakka. The Individuals did beat Finland 3-2 of their lone match tune-up.

“I do not assume it is a totally different workforce,” mentioned Leaman, who talked about his workforce watched the New Yr’s Eve Canada-Finland sport and famous Canada performs an analogous type to the Individuals. “I actually went again and watched that sport [Sunday] and I’ve watched a few their different video games, however groups develop all through the match. You play 4 video games in seven days and you are going to get higher; hopefully, your weaknesses aren’t going to be fairly as weak.”

In that exhibition sport, the groups traded power-play objectives earlier than Cole Caufield potted two. Finland enters comes into this matchup off a come-from-behind, last-minute win over Scandinavian rival Sweden.

“They seem to be a pesky workforce,” Leaman mentioned. “They stick round. They’ve an excellent energy play, they’ve the second-best energy play within the match [the USA is No. 1]. So, I feel self-discipline by our workforce goes to be essential. I feel managing the puck goes to be necessary. I feel attempting to get them to play of their zone as a lot as doable goes to be necessary.”

Sporting Information has all of the motion as the USA and Finland battle for a spot within the gold-medal sport in opposition to Canada.

(All instances Jap)

USA vs. Finland rating, highlights from 2021 World Juniors semifinals

First interval: USA 1, Finland 1

10:11 p.m. — Penalty killed, however simply seconds later Spencer Knight makes a pad save after which a blocker save on a floater.

10:08 p.m. — One other energy play for Finland. Not good.

10:03 p.m. — PP GOAL. And similar to that, it is a tie sport. What a reasonably passing play: Ville Heinola to Anton Lundell to Kasper Simontaival, who finishes into the empty web as Spencer Knight cannot get throughout. Sport tied 1-1.

10:02 p.m. — Not a good time to take a penalty. Sam Colangelo known as for slashing. Finland has a fantastic energy play.

10 p.m. — GOAL. Arthur Kaliyev will get the puck to the entrance and Alex Turcotte is ready to outmuscle the defenseman to bury it previous Kari Piiroinen, who was barely out of place. USA leads 1-0.

9:59 p.m. — Individuals escape and Alex Turcotte hits the trailer within the slot however the shot is stopped. 

9:52 p.m. — Matthew Beniers is on hearth creating probabilities left and proper.

9:47 p.m. — Six minutes in and the Finns have 5 pictures to the Individuals’ two.

9:45 p.m. — Lacrosse-goal try. Perhaps Matthew Beniers?

9:43 p.m. — Finland will get just a few pictures that Spencer Knight simply eats up.

9:38 p.m. — Simply 26 seconds in, Matthew Beniers steals the puck and Cole Caufield has a point-blank likelihood. Like Canada, the U.S. comes out arduous.

9:38 p.m. — Sport on. Winner will get Canada.


9:04 p.m. — Traces. Roby Jarventie (OTT) out of the lineup for Finland.

World Juniors 2021: Newest information