The quarterfinals of the 2021 World Junior Championships on Saturday provided few surprises as the top two teams from each group ended up advancing to the semifinals coming up on Monday. The Canadians, the tournament favorites, feature Wisconsin Badgers star Dylan Holloway and beat the Czech Republic 3-0 to advance, while Team USA, who features current Badger Cole Caufield and former Badger Alex Turcotte, held off Slovakia 5-2.
Holloway and Turcotte were both kept off the score sheet on Saturday night but Caufield, on his 20th birthday, scored the game-winner for the Americans on the power play late in the second period, banging one off the crossbar and into the net for a 3-0 USA lead.
It was Caufield’s second goal of the tournament and will be some nice momentum for the Montreal Canadiens prospect heading into the semifinal matchup against Finland. Turcotte (LA Kings) and Holloway (Edmonton Oilers) both scored on New Year’s Eve, however, in their respective teams’ final group games.
For those who follow this tournament at all, you’ll remember that the Finns are the team that unceremoniously bounced the Americans in the quarters last year. The puck drops Monday night at 8:30 p.m. CST on NHL Network with the Canadians and Russians playing in the other semifinal, a rematch of last year’s gold medal game that Canada won, at 5:00 p.m. CST.