The Hamilton Bulldogs had a pair of players participate in the 2021 World Junior Hockey Championships and both made Hamilton fans and their home countries very proud. Bulldogs all-time leader in goals and points Arthur Kaliyev was a staple on the top line, finishing 2nd on the team in points, for the Gold Medal winning United States while Montreal Canadiens’ 2020 2nd round selection Jan Mysak earned the honour of wearing the captain’s “C” for the Czech Republic.
Kaliyev Strikes Gold:
Arthur Kaliyev impressed the world once again in his 2nd trip to the World Junior Hockey Championships, having represented the United States, and led the team in goals, at the 2020 edition of the tournament the Bulldogs superstar was going to be asked to play an even bigger role at the 2021 tournament and came through with flying colours. Opening the tournament on Christmas Day the American were handed a set-back in a 5-3 loss to Russia but from that point the team would not taste defeat again in the tournament with Kaliyev recording a least a point in each of the next 6 games. With Austria on tap for their second game of the tournament, Kaliyev would find his groove with a pair of assists in 11-0 victory followed up by single points in victories over the Czech Republic, Sweden & Slovakia leading to a clash with Finland in the semi-finals. With the game tied and less than a minute to go, Kaliyev, with an assist already in the game, took a feed in the slot corralling a wobbling puck in between Finnish defenders and snapping it into the top corner, scoring his 3rd goal of the tournament and lifting the United States into the Gold Medal Game. Team USA would square off with the juggernaut Canadians for the gold and it would be Kaliyev’s line which would produce both goals including a Kaliyev assist on Trevor Zegras’ marker to make it 2-0 and give the American the gold medal. Kaliyev finished the tournament second in scoring for the American side with 3 goals and 5 assists for 8 points in 7 games bringing his career line at the World Juniors to 7 goals & 7 assists for 14 points in 12 games cementing himself as one of the top prospects in the world.
Mysak Captains Czechs:
Jan Mysak entered his 2nd World Junior Hockey Championships with the honour of being named the captain of the Czech Republic, a talented but young side for the 2021 tournament. Mysak would score the opening goal of the tournament for the Czechs in a loss to Sweden on Boxing Day, before playing a key defensive role in the upset of Team Russia and leading his team to their biggest moment of the tournament. On New Year’s Eve, Mysak would show his offensive acumen once again posting a goal and an assist in the 7-0 Czech victory over Austria setting up a quarter-final clash with Team Canada. Although the Czechs would fall 3-0 to the Canadian side, Mysak’s Czechs earned praise for frustrating the Canadians defensively and giving them their toughest test of the tournament to that point with Mysak earning individual praise for his talents all 200ft playing a key role defensively as the top line center for his team while consistently testing the Canadian defense with his speed and skills in the offensive zone. Following his 2 goals and 1 assist over 5 games in the 2021 tournament, Mysak moves his career line at the World Juniors to 3 goals & 2 assists for 5 points in 10 games with the near certainty that he will return as captain for what will be a much more experienced Czech entry at the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championships.
The Hamilton Bulldogs congratulate both Arthur Kaliyev for his gold medal performance and Jan Mysak for his leadership of his national team and look forward to having both back in Hamilton.