U.S. goaltender Cal Petersen (Waterloo, Iowa/LA Kings) was named Best Goaltender and forward Conor Garland (Scituate, Mass./Arizona Coyotes) was named to the Media All-Star Team of the 2021 IIHF Men’s World Championship here in Riga, Latvia. The announcement was made following the conclusion of the IIHF Men's World Championship, where Petersen and Garland helped Team USA earn a bronze medal after a 6-1 victory over Germany.
Petersen becomes the fourth-ever U.S. player to earn Best Goaltender honors and eighth-ever U.S. player to earn a directorate honor while Garland becomes the fifth-ever U.S. named to the Media All-Star Team.
Petersen, who skated the 2020-21 season with the LA Kings, was also named one of Team USA’s top three players after finishing the event with a 5-2 (W-L) record, a 1.29 goals-against-average, .953 save percentage and two shutouts. In seven games, he registered two shutouts, allowed one goal twice, allowed two goals twice and three goals once. Of those seven games, he started all three U.S. playoff tilts and registered two wins, a 1.68 GAA and a .947 SV% as the U.S. captured its second medal in three years and its fourth medal in eight years (bronze: 2013, 2015, 2018, 2021). Entering the third period of the bronze-medal game, he had turned aside 54-straight shots against the Germans over two games, despite the U.S. being outshot 54-31 in that span.
In addition, he and fellow U.S. goaltenders Jake Oettinger (Lakeville, Minn.) and Anthony Stolarz (Edison, N.J.) combined to allow just eight goals through preliminary-round play, the lowest a U.S. team has allowed since the tournament was reformatted in 2012. The prior U.S. record for fewest goals allowed in the current tournament format was 14 (2015, 2017).
Petersen’s performance in goal ranks among the best-ever by a U.S. netminder. His goals-against-average ranks second-best ever by a U.S. goaltender in a single IIHF Men’s World Championship and trails only the 1.13 GAA effort by Ed Maki in 1939. In addition, his two shutouts is tied with six others for fifth-best in U.S. tournament history.
Garland, who just completed his third season with the Arizona Coyotes, was named a Media All-Star after registering 13 points (6g, 7a) in 10 games. Team USA’s leader in points (13), goals (6) and assists (7), among all tournament skaters he ranked second in both points (13) and assists (7) while his six goals were tied for the second most of any player in the championship.
On four occasions, the Scituate, Mass. Native registered multi-point efforts, including a three-point outing (1g, 2a) in the 6-1 bronze-medal win over Germany, and was tabbed U.S. Player of the Game after a two-goal effort in the 4-2 preliminary-round win over Italy.
Garland becomes the fifth U.S. player named to the Media All-Star Team after Patrick Kane (forward, 2018), Connor Hellebuyck (goaltender, 2015), Seth Jones (defenseman, 2014) and Carl Wetzel (goaltender, 1967)