After watching a major goalie and defence battle in Tuesday’s title between Canada and the U.S., the goaltending by Spencer Knight in the gold medal game was simply unmatched. USA Hockey played uptempo, heavy hockey and pinned Hockey Canada when it came to their own end.
The first goal was scored by Alex Turcotte, who received the puck on a deflection to his blade. Later on, forward Trevor Zegras would cradle the puck around Canada’s net and wrapped around, sliding it in with a flick of his silky mitts. There were times when the Canadian National Team had some amazing breakaways and solid scoring drives. But shots on net by guys like Bobby Brink blocked a lot of shots and took away passing lanes as well.
One criticism I had for Canada was “how will they handle the adversity of a team like USA Hockey” due to their opening night performance. That opening night, which saw a 5-3 loss to Russia, was the wake up call for USA Hockey to handle the adversity that pushed them to adjust their settings.
This is the second time that USA Hockey has won the gold medal in Canada, dating back to 2017 in Montreal, Quebec. 2021 would make the difference, where it wasn’t won in a shootout, but victorious in regulation. Canada put up a lot of great board battles, however, still managed to keep the Americans in check.
There were times when defensive prospect Bowen Byram came up just short of a backhanded goal. As the clock dialled down in Edmonton, Spencer Knight and the Americans beat Team Canada in a tight one.