Evan Barratt, Team USA Advance To World Junior Championship Semifinals With Victory Over Czech Republic
Penn State men’s hockey center Evan Barratt and the United States battled for another close win at the 2019 U-20 World Junior Championship in Western Canada on Wednesday night.
Team USA picked up a 3-1 victory over the Czech Republic to secure its spot in the semifinals of the competition.
Unlike Sweden and Canada in the first two quarterfinal matchups of Wednesday, Team USA managed to stave off an upset bid and advance to the semifinals for the fourth consecutive year. The Americans will take on the winner of tonight’s quarterfinal matchup between Slovakia and Russia on January 4.
Barratt himself hasn’t found the scoresheet for the United States since scoring the game-winning goal in his first game of the competition against Slovakia. The Chicago Blackhawks’ third-round draft pick has still been utilized quite a bit by Team USA head coach Mike Hastings — Barratt has consistently received ice time on the power play during the tournament. He hasn’t been scratched for a game yet, playing on the team’s second line along with Noah Cates and Tyler Madden throughout.
Team USA’s victory means that both of Penn State’s representatives at the tournament will play in the medal round. That comes at a cost, as Barratt and Finland’s Aarne Talvitie will miss Penn State’s series against Minnesota on January 4 and 5. Both Barratt and Talvitie also missed the Nittany Lions’ last game on December 15 against Princeton when both of their pre-tournament training camps were well underway.
Talvitie and Team Finland sent shockwaves through the hockey world when they upset Canada 2-1 in overtime earlier on Wednesday. Penn State’s standout freshman picked up the primary assist on his team’s game-winning goal as a string of tough luck doomed the Canadians.
Both players will play in the semifinals on January 4, but win or lose, they’ll stay in Western Canada through Saturday. The losers of the semifinals will play in the bronze medal game at 4 p.m. on January 5, while the gold medal game will take place later that night.
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