These four players will be crucial for Team Canada and Team USA in the 2021 WJC.
It is Quarter-Finals day in the 2021 World Junior Championship, and both Team Canada and Team USA will be expected to progress through to the Semi-Finals, which take place on Monday.
Team Canada, who have been an absolute juggernaut so far with four wins with 34 goals for and just four goals allowed, take on the Czech Republic.
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Then, Team USA will be hoping to stay on course for a mouthwatering matchup with Team Canada by beating Slovakia.
While both teams should advance, the Czech Republic and Slovakia will be tough outs, and Team Canada and Team USA will have to be at the peak of their powers.
We’ve already looked at the four storylines to keep an eye on throughout today’s four Quarter-Finals matchups – one for each game – but now we are going to pick out two players for Team Canada and two players for Team USA that will be key today.
Let’s delve right in….
4. Devon Levi, G, Team Canada
It has been a fairly easy tournament for Devon Levi so far, who has allowed just three goals on a grand total of 61 shots.
And, by the way, all three goals have come on the power play.
So, four games in and Levi hasn’t allowed a goal at 5-on-5 yet, although he hasn’t really been tested given how dominant Team Canada have been.
They dominated a depleted Germany team in their opening game, although the Germans did manage to score twice, they allowed one against Slovakia and Levi shutout Switzerland.
However, the Czech Republic beat a talent-laden Russia team in a shootout and they should pose Team Canada their toughest test of the tournament so far.
After all, they do boast the likes of Martin Lang and Jan Mysak who are talented players in their own right, and Levi will need to be alert at all times in order to prevent an almighty shock from taking place.
One of the hallmarks of an elite goaltender is staying alert even when the workload is light and, after being a spectator for much of the tournament so far, Devon Levi will likely be a lot busier against the Czech Republic.
And he will need to be ready.