LA Kings’ Trevor Moore brought his A-game on Sunday as his two goals lead Team USA to a convincing 5-1 victory over Team Canada at the 2021 Worlds.
Both off to inauspicious, not to mention uncharacteristic, starts to the 2021 World Championship, both Team Canada and Team USA lost their opening games of the tournament. For Canada, it was a shocking 2-0 defeat at the hands of the host country, Latvia, while the Americans were more competitive in their opener: a 2-1 loss to Finland. On Sunday, though, seven LA Kings faced off against each as Canada and the US went head to head.
For both countries, they were hoping that each of their opening contests was, for all intents and purposes, a fluke. On Sunday, though, Team USA showed that they were the stronger of the two teams right off the bat.
Team USA did suffer a setback early on as Anaheim Ducks’ goaltender Anthony Stolarz seemed to injure his ankle just five minutes into the game. He left the game, making way for Jake Oettinger of the Dallas Stars. Oettinger was solid in relief and he had plenty of support from his teammates.
Among those teammates was Kings forward Trevor Moore, who scored twice and earned Team USA’s Player of the Game honors, as the Americans routed Team Canada by a 5-1 count.
Moore, who is representing the United States with teammates Cal Petersen, Christian Wolanin, and alternate captain Matt Roy, took on a Canadian team that featured Kings teammates Gabe Vilardi, Jaret Anderson-Dolan, and Sean Walker.
RinkRoyalty’s own Ryan Sikes asked Moore how it felt playing against his teammates from Los Angeles.
“I mean, it’s pretty fun honestly,” Moore admitted. “They’re good players, they bring a lot, and you kind of learn their tendencies throughout the year, and they learn ours, so it’s a little bit of a chess match like that. But yeah, it was fun. It was fun seeing them out there representing their country and us doing the same.”
Mr. Sikes continued, asking the Thousand Oaks, CA, native how he feels adjusting to the bigger ice surface.
“Yeah, sometimes you get the puck and the D can’t really come to you,” Moore noted. “There’s just too much ground to cover, so you have a little more space that way. You can stay a little wider on the entries, spread the zone out in the O-zone. Not super fun chasing around some of those guys in the D zone, but, you know, it’s pretty good overall.”
While they did lose their tournament opener to Finland, Team USA played better as the game continued. Moore pointed out how the Americans came out so much stronger against Canada.
“We have good leadership in the room,” he said. “[Team USA captain Justin Abdelkader] does a great job of getting us ready. We know it’s one game at a time. You don’t get another shot at it, so you’ve got to come out firing and I thought we did a great job.”
As for the rest of the Kings in this game, Christian Wolanin was a plus-2 for the US while Gabe Vilardi had a penalty for Canada.
Canada continues their schedule on Monday against Germany at 1:15 pm ET (10:15 am PT) while Team USA is back in action on Tuesday against Kazakhstan at 9:15 am ET (6:15 am PT).