Team USA won their second gold medal in four World Junior Hockey Championships this weekend.
MONTREAL, QC –Unlike the rapid-fire 6-5 bronze medal match that preceded it, the Swedes and the Americans played a relatively more conservative game that didn’t see a goal until the second period. Sweden broke through first with a goal by Filip Sandberg on the power play, as the top man-advantage had the upper hand on the top penalty-kill.
Later on in the period, USA’s Rocco Grimaldi, having previously been held off the scoresheet, responded with two goals less than three minutes apart. Fellow Panthers’ prospect Vince Trocheck would add an empty-netter before the close of the third period to seal the deal.
Consistently strong throughout the whole tournament, American goaltender John Gibson was solid once again in net for the victors. Team USA outshot their opponents 34-27.
The Americans now get to defend their title in a territory that will clearly want its revenge: next year’s World Junior Hockey Championships are set to take place in Malmö, Sweden.
Two members of the Montreal Canadiens’ 2012 draft class won medals: Alex Galchenyuk took the gold while Sebastian Collberg will now bring home silver. Both finished in the tournament’s top-20 in scoring.
|2 goals||4 goals|
|6 assists||2 assists|
|8 points||6 points|
|2nd in PTS on team
(3 Americans T-1st)
|T-1st in PTS on team|
|1 PPG||2 game-winners, 3 PPG|
|15 SOG||13 SOG|
|13.33% accuracy||30.77% accuracy|
Meanwhile, 3rd place went to Russia, who chased Jordan Binnington from his net early in the first period of the bronze medal game. With the help of P.K. Subban’s brother Malcolm, Canada tried to close in on its deficit, but came a goal short of being to force overtime.
It was the first time since 1998, the eighth-place finish in Helsinki/Hameenlinna, Finland, that Canada had not won a medal. Roberto Luongo and former Hab Mathieu Garon shared goaltending duties that year. (Remember anyone else on that roster? They managed to do some pretty good things for themselves since that defeat.)
Many of the players on the 2013 Canadian roster are soon headed for NHL training camps once the collective bargaining agreement is finalized and all 30 teams can officially resume operations in light of the shortened hockey season.