Michigan Hockey: 3 Wolverines take home gold medals at 2021 WJC

(Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /

Michigan Hockey had three gold medalist players at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship.

On Tuesday night, the Michigan Hockey program was able to add to its numerous list of players and personnel with accolades. This time, it was three Wolverines players and one coach crowned gold medalists at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship (WJC) taking place in Edmonton, Alberta.

Matty Beniers, Brendan Brisson, and Cam York all were players for the United States team coached by Nate Leaman. Assistant Coach Kris Mayotte is also on the Michigan Wolverines coaching staff; he also takes home a gold medal.

The United States team would defeat the Canadian national team after U.S. goaltender Spencer Knight shutout Team Canada for a 2-0 U.S. victory. York was the captain of the U.S. team and is now a gold medalist who was one of the top players for the Americans.

While Tuesday’s glory came from the gold medal game itself, take a look at how these three Wolverines players fared for the rest of the tournament!

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Matty Beniers – Freshman Forward

For the Michigan Wolverines, Matty Beniers is one of the forwards who got off to a scorching start before even departing for Edmonton.

He left the Michigan hockey program after being named to this 2021 IIHF WJC U.S. team that would go on to win gold.

He may not have put up points like some of the other U.S. players like Trevor Zegras, but Beniers found his way onto the scoresheet and was a contributing factor on the ice.

Beniers played all seven U.S. games where he notched a goal and two assists for three points. He was also a plus-three during those seven games.

After capturing a gold medal, Beniers will head back to the Wolverines, where he has played in eight games, registering three goals and three assists for six total points.

He will look to continue the hot start that he and some of the other freshmen were off to before departing for this tournament. Keep in mind, Beniers is also draft-eligible in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. The Wolverines have some real talent on their hands with Beniers, and this is only the beginning for him.

Brendan Brisson – Freshman Forward

While Beniers is 2021 draft-eligible, the Vegas Golden Knights selected Brendan Brisson in the first round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. He started the 2020-21 season with the Wolverines, where he had two goals and five assists for seven points in eight games played.

Brisson was also able to land himself on the scoresheet in this tournament. He spent time on the powerplay, where he would help the U.S. team convert for a goal at one point. He played in all seven games, notching two goals but no assists for two points.

He now is a gold medalist and will head back to the Wolverines for the second half of the Big 10 season.

Cam York – Sophomore Defenseman

Last but not least, U.S. Team captain Cam York was a true force during the 2021 IIHF WJC. He played in seven games where he scored just one goal but added five assists for six points en route to a gold medal. York was also a plus-four for the U.S. team as well during their run for gold.

York is a draft selection of the Philadelphia Flyers from the first round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. In eight games with the Wolverines, York has two goals and three assists for five total points after managing five goals and 11 assists for 16 points over 30 games during the 2019-20 season for Michigan Hockey.

Just like the other two players, he has a bright future ahead of him, and he will be a force for the Wolverines’ blue line. He can also add IIHF WJC gold medalist to his list of accolades. This was York’s fourth go-round with IIHF competition after two trips with the U18 U.S team and then two trips with the U20 U.S. team.

A truly gifted defenseman who is going to be successful at the next level. He is very skilled, and his play with the U.S. team and his first half with Michigan should make that pretty clear to any Flyers, Wolverines, or U.S. National team fans.

Congratulations to Beniers, Brisson, and York on their gold medal win at the 2021 IIHF WJC! Also, congratulations are in order for Wolverines assistant coach Kris Mayotte who was a coach for the U.S. team, as was mentioned above.

Michigan hockey fans should be more than excited to see these three back in their lineup and Mayotte back behind the bench with Head Coach Mel Pearson. The second half should be a thrilling one to see how the freshmen perform along with their other talents like York and company.

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For Michigan Wolverines hockey fans, the second half of their season will kick off this Friday with a two-game set with the Michigan State Spartans kicking off.