Team USA wrapped up preliminary play last night with a 4-3 overtime win over Czech Republic, compiling a 2-1-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record in Group B play. Germany and Russia square off this afternoon, while Czech Republic hosts Canada later this evening. The U.S. awaits final preliminary standings and its opponent for Thursday’s (Jan. 2) quarterfinal game.
With an extra day of rest, the U.S. spent the morning stretching and will enjoy a team dinner in Ostrava. Steak, again, was a popular choice for the meal.
Trevor Zegras (Bedford, N.Y.) is chasing Doug Weight’s U.S. single tournament assist record set in 1991. Zegras, currently with nine assists through four games, is T-4th in U.S. history. Even more impressive, every assist for Zegras in the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship has been a primary assist. Entering today’s action, Zegras leads all tournament skaters with nine points.
The U.S. is 11-0-0-7 (W-OTW-OTL-L) all-time in IIHF World Junior Championship quarterfinal history, including their most recent win over the Czech Republic in 2019. The 3-1 victory, led by Cayden Primeau’s effort in net stopping 18 of 19 shots, would eventually lead to the U.S. winning a silver medal.
Three of USA’s four preliminary games at Ostravar Arena were sellouts of 8,693. The home crowd appeared to support the U.S. in its preliminary game against Russia on Sunday (Dec. 29), however, the other two preliminary games against Canada (Dec. 26) and Czech Republic (Dec. 30) were noticeably in favor of its opponents.