Canada vs. USA: 2020 prospect Alexis Lafreniere dazzles as Canada defeats rival at 2020 World Juniors

first_imgThere is nothing like starting the 2020 IIHF World Juniors off with a bang.As is tradition, the tournament began on Boxing Day and Day 1 saw two of the top contenders, Canada and the United States, go toe-to-toe in the “Battle of North America.” It was, as expected, a no-holds-barred, back-and-forth affair with national pride and bragging rights on the line that the Canadians eventually won 6-4. The Americans came out like a heavyweight, taking a 2-0 lead off power-play goals by Shane Pinto (Ottawa Senators) and Arthur Kaliyev (Los Angles Kings). But, as they say, a 2-0 lead is the worst lead in hockey — and Canada was not throwing in the towel in this one. In the middle stanza, Canada netted three goals by Connor McMichael (Washington Capitals), Barrett Hayton (Arizona Coyotes) and Nolan Foote (Tampa Bay Lightning). Hayton’s game-tying goal on the power play in the second — he added a second goal in the third — came off a feed from expected 2020 No. 1 overall draft pick, Alexis Lafreniere. The 18-year-old dazzled in this contest as he scored the knockout blow in the third period just seven seconds after Pinto completed the United States’ own two-goal comeback to tie the game at 4-all. Lafreniere added an empty-net assist on Dallas Stars Ty Dellandrea’s  goal for his third assist to cap off a four-point night.While everyone expects these teams to go the distance, whether they’ll make it is not set in stone. They are in what’s being dubbed “The Group of Death” as Group B also includes Russia, potential Cinderella team Germany, and the host Czech Republic. In the first game of the day, the Czechs upset Russia 4-3.Canada has Friday off and will next face Russia on Saturday, Dec. 28 at 1 p.m. ET. The United States hops right back on the ice on Friday for a meeting with upstart Germany at 1 p.m. ET.Sporting News had the blow-by-blow for you as the two teams sparred in Game 1 of the tournament.(All times Eastern.)Canada vs. USA scores, highlights from 2020 World JuniorsFinal score: Canada 6, USA 43:34 p.m. — Shane Pinto was named the American player of the game. Alexis Lafreniere was named the Canadian player of the game.End of third period: Canada 6, USA 43:29 p.m. — GOAL. Ty Dellandrea nets the empty netter to ice this one. Canada leads 6-4.Ty Dellandrea scores late after a great play by Alexis Lafreniere – his fourth point of the night. Empty-netter. #WJC2020— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) December 26, 20193:28 p.m. — USA pulls the netminder with two minutes left.3:23 p.m. — GOAL. Wow. USA wins the faceoff but under pressure from Nolan Foote, K’Andre Miller plays the puck to the middle and right to Alexis Lafreniere who scores. Canada leads 5-4.Alexis Lafreniere gets the puck off the faceoff and scores a beautiful goal to make it 5-4. 3:10 left to play. #WJC2020 #NHLDraft— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) December 26, 20193:22 p.m. — PP GOAL. Shane Pinto does it again as he plants himself on the far side of the crease and buries the cross-ice pass for his second goal of the game. Game tied 4-4.Shane Pinto has his second goal of the game after Nick Robertson sets him up on the PP. 4-4. #WJC2020— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) December 26, 20193:21 p.m. — Ty Dellandrea takes an interference call. USA back on the power play and it needs a goal here to tie this one up.3:19 p.m. — Back to even strength.3:15 p.m. — Canada takes a penalty. USA will look to tie this one up.3:13 p.m. — GOAL. USA makes it a one-goal game with 7:14 left on the clock as Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Nick Robertson pulls in the puck and fires the wrister. Canada leads 4-3.Nick Robertson brings the Americans within one again. 4-3 with this snipe. #WJC2020— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) December 26, 20193:10 p.m. — PP GOAL. It’s all about the special teams in this one. Alexis Lafreniere dazzles as he cuts to the middle and feeds Barrett Hayton for the easy goal. Canada leads 4-2.Barrett Hayton scores his second of the game after a great move by Alexis Lafreniere took the D out of position. 4-2 Canada. #WJC2020— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) December 26, 20193:07 p.m. —  Spencer Stastney takes a penalty. Canada heads to the power play.3:00 p.m. — USA with a quality chance as Oliver Wahlstrom gets the rebound but it’s Nico Daws who comes up big with the leg save. Quick reminder, Daws is eligible for the 2020 draft.Nico Daws made a huge pad stop on Oliver Wahlstrom. That’s a big confidence booster. #WJC2020— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) December 26, 20192:55 p.m. — Back to even strength2:55 p.m. — Bobby Brink with a good move around the net and pass in front but can’t connect.2:53 p.m. — Third period starts. USA on the power play and trail by one.2:41 p.m. — For your viewing pleasure during intermission:Nils Höglander might have just scored the nicest goal in World Junior Championship history 😳😳😳😳 #WorldJuniors 🇸🇪— TSN (@TSN_Sports) December 26, 2019End of second period: Canada 3, USA 22:35 p.m. — Yep. The goal is being reviewed . . . and its waved off as the puck went in after the buzzer sounded. USA still trails 3-2 but will start the third on the power play.2:34 p.m. — PP GOAL. At the buzzer, the United States ties it up! Puck squirts out in front and Shane Pinto buries it as the Canadians lose track of him and the puck. USA celebrates but definitely looks like the period had ended.Shane Pinto scores at the buzzer… but will it count? #WJC2020— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) December 26, 20192:33 p.m. — With 16 seconds left in the period, Canada’s Kevin Bahl takes a penalty. USA, who needs a goal to tie, is 2-for-2 on the power play.2:31 p.m. — Off a save, the puck hits a Canadian defender in front and Nico Daws has to make a quick pad save.Nico Daws with a good stop here. #WJC2020— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) December 26, 20192:25 p.m. — Canada back to the power play for the third time in the game. Not a good play as two of Canada’s three goals have come on the power play.2:20 p.m. — PP GOAL. The tide has turned in the second period. Canada takes a 3-2 lead as Nolan Foote’s shot beats Spencer Knight top shelf. Canada leads 3-2.Nolan Foote ( @Kelowna_Rockets ) on the PP, 3-2. He’s been one of Canada’s best players since camp. #WJC2020— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) December 26, 20192:19 p.m. — Puck deflects out into the slot and Spencer Knight makes the shoulder stop.2:16 p.m. — Canadians back on the power play. They’re 1-for-2 thus far.2:09 p.m. — PP GOAL. The Canadian captain Barrett Hayton with an absolute rifle from the right circle ties the game. Game tied 2-2.Canada, PP goal. 2-2. Barrett Hayton makes no mistake on the one-timer. Alexis Lafreniere with the feed. #WJC2020— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) December 26, 20192:07 p.m. — Canada heads back to the power play as Shane Pinto gets sent to the sin bin. The Canadians will look to tie this one up and are 0-for-1 with the man advantage in the game.2:02 p.m. — GOAL. Great play by the Canadians as they push out of their own. In the US end, Akil Thomas off the chip feeds Connor McMichael who buries it. USA leads 2-1.Connor McMichael makes it 2-1 for Canada. Both team’s fourth lines having a busy game. #WJC2020— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) December 26, 20191:59 p.m. — Joe Veleno gets a Grade A chance but Spencer Knight makes the stop.1:56 p.m. — Second period underway.End of first period: USA 2, Canada 01:40 p.m. — After 1, it’s USA 2, Canada 0. Canada has to stay out of the box in this one as the Americans netted two power-play goals on two opportunities.1:37 p.m. — PP GOAL.  Trevor Zegras controls the puck in the circle and feeds Kings prospect Arthur Kaliyev for the one-timer into the open net as Nico Daws can’t get across. USA leads 2-0.Arthur Kaliyev makes it 2-0 on the PP. Trevor Zegras and Alex Turcotte with some nice passes. #WJC2020— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) December 26, 20191:35 p.m. — Jared McIsaac called for hooking; not a smart play by the world juniors veteran. USA heads back to the power play and is already 1-for-1 on the night.1:32 p.m. — Canada now leads 7-6 in shots, but USA has blocked a ton of shots too. Corsi For tilting Canada’s way at this point in the contest.1:23 p.m. — Canada starting to throw the body around. Alexis Lafreniere crushes Mattias Samuelsson hard into the glass. 1:19 p.m. — Canada gets its first shot on net, six minutes and 10 seconds into the game.1:19 p.m. — Alexis Lafreniere showing off the skills that should make him the No. 1 pick in June.FILTHY move by Alexis Lafrenière 👀— TSN (@TSN_Sports) December 26, 20191:18 p.m. — USA’s Jordan Harris called for high-sticking. Canada heads to the power play.1:18 p.m. — More than five minutes into the game and Canada still doesn’t have a shot on net.1:13 p.m. — PP GOAL. Shane Pinto sitting in the high slot with the big deflection off the Zac Jones shot from the point. USA leads 1-0.That deflection 🙌 #USAWJC | #WorldJuniors— USA Hockey (@usahockey) December 26, 20191:12 p.m. — Canada’s Barrett Hayton called for tripping. USA heads to the power play.1:09 p.m. — Game on! Spencer Knight (Panthers) vs. Nico Daws in between the pipes.Pregame12:37 p.m. — Canada hitting the ice for warmups in the red threads.Team Canada takes the ice 👀🇨🇦 who’s ready for puck drop?— TSN (@TSN_Sports) December 26, 201912:21 p.m. — USA wearing the white threads the 1960 Olympic team wore when they captured the United States’ first-ever gold medal.Threads 🇺🇸 #USAWJC | #WorldJuniors— USA Hockey (@usahockey) December 26, 201912:20 p.m. — Canada’s lineup.Almost there … only 4⃣5⃣ minutes until the puck drops on 🇨🇦🆚🇺🇸.Take a 👀 at how the Canadians will take to the ice in Ostrava… #WorldJuniors— #WorldJuniors (@HC_WJC) December 26, 201912:00 p.m. — USA announces its lineup. Only one hour until puck drop! #WorldJuniorsHere’s how #TeamUSA will line up for game one ⬇️Notes and broadcast information →— USA Hockey (@usahockey) December 26, 2019Relevant linksTournamentA team-by-team guide to the 2020 under-20 championshipBreakdown of every NHL teams’ prospectsTop 5 storylines to watch20 draft prospects to keep an eye onCanadaCanada’s complete game schedule, resultsDylan Cozens: first player from Yukon  Alexis Lafreniere putting up impressive numbers in draft yearBarrett Hayton named captainUSATeam USA’s complete game schedule, resultsUSA’ Dustin Wolf making a name for himselflast_img read more