The Wisconsin Badgers men’s hockey program is often lauded as one of the best developmental programs in the country with many former Badgers littered through the ranks of the NHL, as players and coaches alike. In the last few weeks, the strength of that development was highlighted at the World Junior Championship in Edmonton, Canada, where three Badgers– Cole Caufield, Alex Turcotte and Dylan Hollaway– all took home medals for their respective teams.
Alex Turcotte, who currently plays for the Los Angeles Kings after going one-and-done at UW, scored goals in back-to-back games for Team USA, helping lead them to their first World Junior title since 2017.
Both goals put Team USA ahead in the first period with Tuesday’s goal against Canada coming after Turcotte knocked in a wayward shot from close range by teammate Drew Helleson of Boston College. Turcotte also later passed to an assist which was knocked in by Trevor Zegras in the second period.
Team USA’s goalie Spencer Knight would make 15 saves in the third period to finish off the shutout of Team Canada, with Team USA winning 2-0 to notch their fifth World Junior title.
Cole Caufield, the future Montreal Canadien and current star for Wisconsin, also had an impressive performance at the tournament. Caufield, known as one of the most dynamic young scorers in the sport, did not shy away from shooting the puck, as he was near the top of the leaderboard for Team USA in shots taken.
In seven games at the WJC, Caufield notched two goals and three assists, all coming at key times for Team USA. Although Caufield didn’t score in the backend of the tournament, many were impressed with his action away from the puck. He also squared off multiple times against his future Canadien teammate, defensemen Kaiden Guhle, in the final game of the tournament, with Caufield and Team USA bringing home the gold.
Caufield also had one of the most memorable off the ice moments of the tournament when he dropped an f-bomb during an interview with TSN. The star forward was recapping Team USA’s win over Finland when asked about what his team would need to do to prepare for Canada. For those looking for a little humor after some of the darker moments of the last week, this clip is sure to make you smile.
Wisconsin Badger Dylan Holloway was also productive for Team Canada at the World Junior tournament. Holloway was the first Wisconsin Badger to be selected for Team Canada since the 2009 gold-winning team, when defenseman Cody Goloubef represented the country.
Caufield and Holloway were the first University of Wisconsin men’s hockey players to ever face off against each other at the World Junior gold-medal game, which guaranteed that the program would add to their list of ten players that have taken home the gold at the tournament. Caufield, after Team USA’s victory, will now join Jake Dowell (U.S., 2004), Jeff Likens (U.S., 2004), Ryan Suter (U.S., 2004), Kyle Turris (Canada, 2008), Cody Goloubef (Canada, 2009), Derek Stepan (U.S., 2010), Jake Gardiner (U.S., 2010), John Ramage (U.S., 2010), Jake McCabe (U.S., 2013) and Luke Kunin (U.S., 2017).
Caufield and Holloway will return to the University of Wisconsin in preparation for the upcoming series against the top-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers this coming Saturday to restart Big Ten action for 2021.