USA wins OT thriller
by Andrew Podnieks|30 DEC 2019
Team USA's Trevor Zegras with a scoring chance on Czech goaltender Lukas Parik.
photo: Andrea Cardin / HHOF-IIHF Images
Cole Caufield scored his first goal of the tournament at 3:14 of overtime to give the Americans a 4-3 win over the Czechs. The win leaves the Czechs' playoff hopes in doubt until tomorrow's games. They need Russia to beat Germany in regulation time in the early game, or they need to get at least a point from their own game against Canada in the evening.

The U.S. has now played its four preliminary round games and can finish no worse than second place.

Caufield's goal came after a lengthy period of puck possession by the Czechs, but they couldn't get a decent shot at Spencer Knight in the U.S. goal.

"We knew this was going to be an intense game," said Jack Drury. "It was a great crowd, in the host country, amazing atmosphere. We wanted to play the right way, and knew if we did it would work out for us."

"We wanted to win the game, but we knew we needed one point at least, and we got that," said Michal Teply. "It was a good game. We're happy, and the fans were amazing. Every time we scored, it was important, and they were great."
USA vs. Czech Republic - 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship
USA CZE 30 DEC 2019
The Americans got on the board early to silence the crowd, scoring a nice goal on the power play. Nick Robertson feathered a pass from behind the net to Shane Pinto at the top of the crease, and he wasted no time in scoring his fourth goal of the tournament at 3:45.
The goal seemed to ignite the Czechs, though, and they dominated most of the period from that point. They evened the score six minutes later when captain Libor Zabransky nailed a shot through a maze of players in front.
Then, near the end of the period, the Czechs took their first lead thanks to a five-on-three advantage. Karel Plasek found Zabransky to the back side of Knight’s goal, and he redirected it off the goalie’s skate and in at 18:16, sending the pro-Czech crowd into a frenzy.
That frenzy didn’t have much opportunity to show itself in the second period. The Americans tied the score just 79 seconds in on a delayed penalty, when Arthur Kaliyev drilled one of his unstoppable one-timers high into the net. It came out so quickly that the referee, standing right there, ruled no goal at first. Video review confirmed the shot went in, though.
Then, less than five minutes later, Trevor Zegras made a dazzling, twirling pass through the slot right onto the stick of Jack Drury, who made no mistake. As soon as he scored, he pointed to Zegras to make clear number 9 made the great play. Zegras now leads the tournament with nine points, all assists.
He's like Patrick Kane out there. He can do special things. It was a great pass. He makes so many like that every game. He's a phenomenal player.
Jack Drury about Trevor Zegras
The Czechs finished the period with consecutive power-play chances, but the Americans collapsed around Knight and blocked shots and lanes and prevented the Czechs from getting many decent shots.

The building exploded at 6:57 of the third when Simon Kubicek blasted a shot from the point past Knight, tying the game. But the play went to video review, and it was ruled that there was goaltender interference. However, there was a delayed penalty on the play, so the Czechs went on a power play. Near its end, they tied the game again, and this one counted. Petr Kajka swept home a rebound from in close, and the fans went crazy, setting the stage for a wild finish in OT.
USA vs. Czech Republic - 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship