After an all-European showdown in Edmonton on Friday, the top-ranked North American teams returned to play in performances that displayed just how dangerous they can be.
Team USA controlled from the get-go against Austria, netting their first just 54 seconds into the game and finished the first period up four goals to nothing. Two players — Wyatt Kaiser and Carter Mazur — collected two goals each while teammate Matthew Coronato had a two-point (one goal, one assist) showing as the Americans dominated Austria 7-0 to remain undefeated in the tournament.
After a slow-start, Canada’s top guns came out to play as Kent Johnson scores a lacrosse-style game-winning goal and captain Mason McTavish nets two more to cement his dominance in World Juniors scoring as Canada topped Czechia 5-1.
In a game that came down to the wire after a third-period goal that brought the Swiss to within one, Team Germany held strong to secure the win in regulation, beating Switzerland 3-2.
Here are your top performers from Day 5 of the World Juniors:
3rd Star: Carter Mazur, USA
It appears that a day of rest following their 7-1 victory over Switzerland did nothing to squander the momentum of the United States. They came out of the gate swinging and continued relentlessly, completing a staggering 7-0 win over Austria.
Team USA’s leading goal scorer Carter Mazur collected two more in the second period, scoring goals five and six to secure the blowout victory.
With his family in attendance, the Red Wings prospect scored his third goal of the tournament point-blank after a forced turnover in the offensive zone by Thomas Bordeleau.
His second goal of the afternoon came less than a minute later on the power-play, where Mazur ripped it from the bumper position off another feed from Bordeleau.
Following this two-goal performance, Mazur retains his spot as number two in tournament scoring, second only to Canada’s Mason McTavish. He’s tied with linemate Bordeleau for points leaders on Team USA, each tallying six.
Canadian Jack Thompson’s future in the game against Czechia looked precarious as he blocked a shot with his foot, causing him to briefly leave the bench. However, upon his return he assisted in three goals, including the one that tied things up in the first period. This performance now puts him in a three-way tie for second in defenceman scoring for Team Canada.
2nd Star: Wyatt Kaiser, USA
As the first period got underway for the first game of the day, it took less than a minute for defenceman Wyatt Kaiser to open the scoring for the United States against Austria for the first of two goals he would net on Saturday afternoon.
The Chicago Blackhawks prospect and third-round draft pick scored the eventual game-winner from the point after teammate Matthew Coronato won a race to the puck, setting up Kaiser for the seeing-eye shot through a screen.
Later in the first, Kaiser scored his second from atop the faceoff circle, deflecting off Austrian forward Senna Peeters’ stick and beating goalie Leon Sommar clean over the shoulder.
Even though he didn’t complete the hat trick, Kaiser still tallied seven shots on net in an impressive offensive showing for the left-shot defenceman. In just three games in this tournament, Kaiser has now scored as many goals as he did during the 2021-2022 season playing for the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Following this two-goal performance, Kaiser is now second in defenceman scoring for Team USA, trailing only Luke Hughes.
The United States remains undefeated, while Austria falls to 0-3 this tournament and continues the search for their first win.
Despite falling 5-1 to Canada, Czech goaltender Tomas Suchanek stood on his head, making some brilliant saves in an effort to keep his team in the game. Finishing with an impressive 52 saves against an offensively gifted Canadian team, Suchanek showed up in a big way for Team Czechia.
1st star: Kent Johnson, Canada
With a goal and an assist, the scoreboard doesn’t quite capture how dangerous Kent Johnson was for Team Canada against Czechia.
After dropping a shorthanded goal early in the first to a Czech team deeper than in years past, Canada needed a shift in momentum — fast.
Once captain Mason McTavish deflected a shot from Jack Thompson to tie up the score, the game opened up and Team Canada returned to familiar form.
With just over a minute remaining in the first period, Johnson retrieved the puck from behind the net, scooping it up and completing a stunning lacrosse-style goal, eventually becoming the game-winner.
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After getting his first goal of the tournament out of the way, it was clear the Port Moody, British Columbia native felt the momentum shift in his favour, becoming a threat as Team Canada dominated the offensive zone.
Though the Czech goaltender was able to save all but one of Johnson’s shots, he found the scoresheet once more, feeding a perfect pass to linemate and Philedelphia Flyers prospect Tyson Foerster in the slot for his first goal of the tournament.
With this 5-1 victory over Czechia, Team Canada retains its top spot in Group A and improves its record to 3-0. They now look ahead to Monday, where they look to remain undefeated against number-two ranked Finland.
Team Canada captain Mason McTavish netted another two goals, bringing his tally up to a tournament-leading six goals, and continues to showcase his offensive prowess. Getting Canada on the board late in the first period, the Anaheim Ducks prospect and 2021 first-round pick scored once more in the second period on a breakaway to give Canada a 4-1 lead.