The 2021 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship did not go Canada’s way, as the tournament hosts and heavy favourites fell in the gold-medal game to the United States on Jan. 5.
Team Canada was held scoreless in the final of the World Juniors, as Team USA shut out the hosts to take the game 2-0 in Edmonton, Alta.
Bragg Creek hockey product Dylan Holloway was a member of Team Canada, which dominated the early stages of the tournament but couldn’t find the net against a well-drilled American defence in the final. The 19-year-old forward tallied one goal and one assist in the six games he played.
The University of Wisconsin sophomore missed Canada’s victory Dec. 27 against Slovakia due to an upper-body injury, but he recovered quickly to feature for the remainder of the tournament.
"It was a little sore, but definitely something I can push through," Holloway said in a story published by TSN. "If it was a medal game or something toward the end of the tournament I'd definitely [have played against Slovakia], but it was better to take the night to make sure it doesn't get too bad."
Holloway said leading up to the game on Dec. 27, he was ready to play.
"I got to the rink and was expecting to go, and the doctor said it was in my best interests to not play and I trust the decision," he said.
Until the final, Team Canada had a dominant showing during the tournament. The team’s performances included a 16-0 blowout win against a weakened Germany, when Holloway tallied his assist, and a 10-0 victory over Switzerland.
Until the gold-medal game, Canada had not conceded a single goal at even strength, and they had not trailed any of their opponents. In the lead-up to the battle with the U.S., Canada scored 41 goals and conceded just two.
But the Canadians' dominance came to an end in the final, as U.S. goaltender Spencer Knight stopped all 34 shots that came his way. At the other end of the ice, Trevor Zegras and Alex Turcotte tallied for the Americans in the first and second periods, respectively.
Holloway – who was visibly distraught in the moments after the game – took to Twitter after the tournament, posting a picture of him and teammates on the ice with a caption that read “I love you Canada.”
With the tournament done, Holloway will return to Madison, Wis., where he is a student at the University of Wisconsin and a member of the school's NCAA Division 1 hockey team. The NCAA hockey season is currently on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to his university hockey career, Holloway was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in 2020 and will hope to join the NHL team for their next preseason training camp.