USA Under-18 Team Basks In Golden Glow

(above) DU recruit William Wrenn scores for Team USA

by Brian Fitzsimmons

The world's newest golden boys fulfilled their dream by redefining what home-ice advantage truly means.

Defenseman Cam Fowler scored an early first-period goal as the U.S. National Under-18 Team cruised to a 5-0 triumph against Russia, capturing the gold medal at the 2009 IIHF World Under-18 Championships in Fargo, N.D., on Sunday.

Matt Nieto, DU recruit William Wrenn, Chris Brown and Ryan Bourque also tallied to help the Americans complete their thrilling run in becoming the first U.S. team to win the gold on home soil since the 1980 Olympic Games.

"I'm just happy for the players and the team," U.S. coach Ron Rolston said. "We had a group that was focused throughout the tournament. I'm happy for them to accomplish their goals and live their dreams."

A record-breaking crowd of 4,923 at the Urban Plains Center – consisting of many people suffering from the rising flood threats along the Red River – witnessed the Americans avenge Tuesday's 6-5 loss to Russia, their only loss of the tournament and international play this year.

DU hockey fans got a glimpse of the future Wrenn took a pass from fellow Pioneer recruit Drew Shore before firing a slap shot past Bobkov for a power-play goal at 1:55 of the 2nd period.

"Everyone's worked for this for two years now and it hasn't kicked in," Wrenn said. "I just can't believe it. We never really stopped playing; we made smart decisions. It was just everyone laying it all out on the line. We got the jitters out of the way and we rolled after that."

"We knew we were going to have to play better defensively," Rolston said. "(The Russians) have an outstanding team and excellent forwards in terms of speed and skills. Our goaltending and defense was exceptional.

"Adam Murray [DU recruit] started the first few games and did outstanding by placing us in the position we were in. Then Jack Campbell closed the door and played exceptionally well."


Angélique C. Murray (Jori) said...

That DU connection on the third goal was sweet. I have to say of the four recruits, Zucker is the player I'm most excited to see donning the crimson in gold. I know we have to wait another year, but it'll be worth it. The guy is so much fun to watch.

dggoddard said...

You're right about that. His speed will just kill in the college game.

Anonymous said...

Unrelated: When WCHA academic honors were released i remember people saying freshman weren't eligible to be named. Colborne, Wiercoch, and Carle made Deans List for Winter Quarter (3.75 GPA or higher)...didn't get to look over the whole list but also noticed ruegs and rhett were on it.

Anonymous said...

So why wasn't Murray in goal last night, considering he got the team to the final?

Angélique C. Murray (Jori) said...

Murray hasn't started a game since the 6-5 loss to Russia in the round robin. Jack Campbell started all the medal round games.

dggoddard said...

Murray gave up 6 goals in the last two periods of the 1st Russian game.

Rolston went with Campbell against Czech Republic, Canada & Russia in the elimination round. It was Murray's job to lose and apparently he lost it.

No doubt this will cost Murray in the NHL draft this summer. However, being a free agent goaltender like Mannino may be better than being buried in the ECHL with a team that may have 5 goaltenders above you.