Well, Team USA is officially out of World Juniors medal contention after a 4–2 loss to Czechia in the quarterfinals. That spells the end of Matt Coronato’s tournament, in which he’s been phenomenal and one of USA’s biggest impact players. How did the 19-year-old Calgary Flames prospect do over the five games he featured in? Let’s break it down.
Coronato’s impact at the WJC
Coronato was on Team USA’s second line with Logan Cooley and Matthew Knies for much of the tournament. While it was marginally disappointing to not see Coronato get the first line nod, he himself did not disappoint whatsoever. He also played on the second power play unit as well as the penalty kill.
Over the four games in the preliminary round, Coronato scored four goals and two assists, and added an assist in USA’s quarterfinal loss. At the time of USA’s exit out of the tournament, he was tied for seventh for points.
Coronato’s 2022 World Junior stats
Here’s how his stat line looked for every game played. Over four games, he put up 19 shots on goal with a game-winning goal included in a fray—his biggest impact performance coming in the tight contest against Team Sweden. Overall, he played just over 84 minutes throughout the tournament, being an impact player in most of his shifts.
|USA 5 – 1 GER||0||1||1||14:51||0|
|SUI 1 – 7 USA||1||0||1||17:13||0|
|AUT 0 – 7 USA||1||1||2||16:13||+2|
|USA 3 – 2 SWE||2||0||2||15:45||+2|
|USA 2 – 4 CZE||0||1||0||20:01||0|
As shown, Coronato was trusted with more ice time in his team’s most important game as USA tried to battle back against Czechia. However, his biggest mishap was having a wide open net to shoot at to get USA back within one goal in the dying minutes of the game, just to have his shot attempt foiled by Czech defender David Spacek (with credit going to Spacek on a great play with full awareness).
Still among USA’s best players
By the end of the tournament, Team USA named Thomas Bordeleau (F), Carter Mazur (F), and Luke Hughes (D) as their top three players, in what could be seen as a snub for Coronato. Bordeleau put up one goal and seven assists while Mazur scored five goals along with two assists. From the blueline, Hughes potted one goal to go with five assists.
Had Coronato scored that last-minute goal, even if Team USA was eliminated, he might have ended up on the top three list, but it was just unfortunate for the young forward to have possibly the biggest shot of his career thus far not make it into the back of the net. Clearly, with the top three being named as it was, Coronato was definitively number four.
Coronato’s overall progression
Seeing Coronato in action again after a great first season at Harvard ignites the Flames fan base with a superb goal scorer in their prospect cupboard. While he’s not the best skater nor the biggest player on the ice, he makes up for it in spades with his tenacity and his shot.
He’ll return to Harvard for the 2022–23 season with expectations of an even bigger role on the Crimson team. If all goes well for him, there’s an outside chance he’ll even don a Flames jersey after his NCAA season concludes, but realistically that won’t be on his trajectory. For now, the disappointment of being eliminated will surely sting, but there’s lots to look forward to for Coronato. Let’s see how everything pans out for him over the coming year.