USA 3 - Sweden 1 FINAL

(above) Jason Zucker holds the trophy

(above) Jason Zucker delivers a big hit on a Swedish player

(above) Justin Faulk & DU recruit Nick Shore celebrate USA's 3rd goal against Sweden


MINSK – USA successfully defended its title at the World U18 Championship with a 3-1 win against Sweden. The gold is the American’s fifth at the U18 level and brings their total medal haul to eight at the annual event. Sweden’s silver medal matched its best finish at U18s, which it earned once, in 1999.

Today’s win avenged the only U.S. loss of this year’s tournament, a 4-2 defeat in the preliminary round. Since 2002, the Americans have missed the podium at U18s only once, in 2003 when they took fourth place.

The game was played in the 15,000-seat Minsk Arena. It was the only game of the event that was played at the newly-opened, state-of-the art building and more than 10,000 fans came for the final.

The Americans came out fired up in the first period and quickly took the 1-0 lead when Luke Moffatt scored a clean shot from the slot 2:10 into action. The Americans pressured the Swedish net after the goal, but Johan Gustafsson stood his ground through the storm.

The momentum took a massive turn when Austin Watson was given a five minute penalty and a game misconduct for a brutal hit on Sweden’s Herni Snall. Snall had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher, likely suffering a concussion. The U.S. was forced to buckle down and chance to defense mode, and ultimately killed the lengthy penalty while getting nearly as many shots as the Swedes during the man advantage.

Midway through the second period, the Americans extended their lead to 2-0. Justin Faulk flipped in the puck after DU recruit Nick Shore fed him the puck as he streaked in front of the goal. The Americans continued to pressure the Swedish net and climbed ahead 3-0, just 14 seconds into a power-play late in the second. Rocco Grimaldi scored on the rebound, putting the U.S. in pole position heading into the break.

Sweden got renewed life in the third period when Ludvig Rensfeldt put in a shot from the face-off circle to make it a 3-1 affair 6:54 into the third frame. But despite their best play of the game after the goal, the comeback went no further as the U.S. hung on for the 3-1 win.

Zucker & Campbell Make History - Jason Zucker and Jack Campbell did something that no other American players accomplished in history. The two won their third gold-medal in an IIHF World Championship event in the last calendar year. No previous American player had more than two gold medals at an IIHF Men’s World Championship event in his international career. Zucker and Campbell each were part of the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team that captured gold at the 2009 IIHF World Men’s Under-18 Championship. They also played on the U.S. National Junior Team that earned the gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship.


Anonymous said...

I was there.That was great!!!

Anonymous said...

And I bet the next trophy Jason will be holding, is the Wells Fargo Denver Cup!

Anonymous said...

Word on the street (USHR) is that Gwoz INTERVIEWED for the OSU job this week. They think Gwoz is disgruntled at the fact DU offered the basketball coach Scott a lot of money and still haven't compensated Gwoz. (If I were Gwoz I'd be pissed about that too considering what the hockey team does for DU in comparison to what the basketball program "does"). And to be frank, OSU can offer far more money than DU can. (But then again, DU could just bump up tuition prices again, so I guess it's possible).

This should be pretty interesting.

Anonymous said...

USHR now reports Gwoz will NOT be hired as OSU's coach, the job is going to an assistant from Wisconsin. Dodged a bullet there eh?

Anonymous said...

Hey c'mon, don't hijack this thread.... this is about the Z man!
Do y'all think Jason will be invited to the WJC's ??

Anonymous said...

he was on the team this year.........