- Canada (6-0) is a 1.5-goal favorite against USA (5-1) in Tuesday’s gold medal game (9:30 PM EST) at the World Junior Championships in Edmonton, Alberta
- USA defeated Finland 4-3 on a late goal by Arthur Kaliyev to reach the gold medal game, while Canada downed Russia 5-0
- Here are the odds, the best bet, and information on how to watch the game
Dominant Canada is a 1.5-goal favorite against USA going into Tuesday’s gold medal game at the World Junior Championships in Edmonton, Alberta. The game will be broadcast on NHL Network.
The Canadians and Americans have met for the gold medal three times over the past 20 years at the WJC, and USA has won all three meetings (2004, 2010 and 2017).
In the four preliminary games and two medal round games, Canada has outscored opponents 41-4. The Canadians are trying to become the first country to win back-to-back gold medals at the WJC since Canada won five in a row from 2005 to 2009. The Americans are deep in NHL prospects.
USA vs Canada Odds
|USA||+132||+1.5 (-215)||Over 5.5 (-110)|
|Canada||-162||-1.5 (+170)||Under 5.5 (-112)|
Odds taken Jan. 5 at DraftKings
Canada Thus Far Has No Equal
To understand how dominant Canada has been at this tournament, consider that the Canadians have yet to give up an even-strength goal. They have outscored opponents 34-0 in 5-on-5 situations.
The Canadians, boasting 19 first-round NHL draft picks, have also never trailed in this tournament.
Canada beat Russia 5-0 to reach the gold medal game. The same Russians defeated USA 5-3 in the preliminary round.
If his Sabres career is anything like this #WJC2021, Dylan Cozens is going to be something special for them. Potential foundation player. Makes the little plays. Makes the big plays.
— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) January 4, 2021
Buffalo Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens leads Canada and the tournament in scoring with eight goals and eight assists for 16 points. But other Canadians are playing as well as Cozens. The forward group always looks dangerous, and the Canadian defense is stingy with scoring chances. Canada’s goaltending has been exceptional.
Americans Also Have a Swagger
USA’s Trevor Zegras (Anaheim Ducks) boasts 25 points in 10 games of WJC competition. Cole Caufield is considered one of Montreal’s best prospects. Defenseman Jake Sanderson was drafted fifth overall by the Ottawa Senators in the 2020 draft.
Goalie Spencer Knight was drafted 13th overall by the Florida Panthers in 2019.
At the end of two, the U.S. has a 3-1 lead! Take a look at Boldy’s fifth of the tournament ⬇️#USAWJC | #WorldJuniors pic.twitter.com/U2VVR4Xyji
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) January 5, 2021
As impressive as Canada has been, the Americans don’t see themselves as underdogs. USA is also rich in future NHL talent, The Americans weren’t at their best in losing their opening game to Russia, but they played better and better as the tournament wore on.
USA defeated the Finns 4-3 in the semifinals, and that was impressive as Canada’s win against Russia. The Finns had won three of the past seven WJC. The Finns are known for their ability to battle from behind. They did it against the Swedes in the quarterfinals.
Levi Steals Goaltending Spotlight
Russia’s Jaroslav Askarov (Nashville Predators) and USA’s Knight were supposed to be the most dominant goalies at this WJC. Both of them are prize NHL prospects.
But the goalie everyone has been talking about at this tournament is Canada’s Devon Levi who is a seventh-round pick of the Panthers. He stopped 28 shots against the Russians, and no opponent has beaten him at even strength.
Devon Levi has an elaborate 3.5 hour pre-game routine
Bowen Byram: “Honestly, we don’t see too much of him before the game. I don’t know where he goes, but I don’t see him until he’s on the ice”
Dylan Cozens smiles: “The way he’s playing he can do whatever he wants”
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) January 4, 2021
In six games, Levi owns three shutouts, a 0.53 goals-against average, and a .974 save percentage. He’s a technically sound goalie who swallows pucks that reach his net. Knight has gotten the job done for the Americans, but Askarov looked shaky in Russia’s loss to Canada.
Canadians Have a Slight Edge
This might be one of the most talented rosters the Canadians have ever put together for the WJC. But the Americans also have moxie demonstrated by their gritty win against Finland. This should be a one-goal game. An empty netter could be the difference between winning or losing the bet.
Pick: Canada -1.5 (+170)