They may have arrived to this point via different routes and methods, but make no mistake: this is the final that both teams wanted. The Americans needed some heroics in the dying moments as they almost let this opportunity slip away, needing an Arthur Kaliyev goal with 66 seconds left on the clock to break a 3-3 tie against Finland last night. The Canadians road was far less rocky, as they got the GWG less than a minute into the game on a rocket from Alex Newhook.
Both teams are loaded with potential future NHL stars, and all eyes will be on the goaltending battle between the USA’s Spencer Knight, and Canada’s Devon Levi. Levi has been the tournament MVP hands down as he’s just been utterly flawless, but let’s not overlook the incredible job that the Canadian defence have done game in and game out, keeping opposing shooters to the outside and giving Levi the opportunity to make saves.
Along with Kaliyev, the US are led by Trevor Zegras, who is tied in points with Canada’s Dylan Cozens, and Alex Turcott. They’ve also gotten strong performances from Bobby Brink, Cam York and John Farinacci.
Canada will look to Cozens to continue his dominant play, along with Peyton Krebs, Connor McMichael and Quinton Byfield. Both teams are deep, and the beauty of these winner takes all games is history is filled with instances where you get a career performance from someone you don’t expect. Just ask John Slaney.
It may not be as long and historic a rivalry as Canada/Russia, but it’s every bit as passionate. So enjoy this one, and you probably wanna stay off Twitter tonight (especially if they don’t win).