Heading into the 2013 World Junior Championship, Plano native Seth Jones took some heat for saying the USA was the best team in the tournament. Saturday, Jones and his teammates backed up the talk by defeating Sweden, 3-1, to take the gold medal at the tournament in Ufa, Russia.
“It feels unbelievable,” Jones said in a postgame interview on TSN. “I didn’t want to look like an idiot, and my teammates helped me out with that a lot.”
It was the third medal at the World Juniors for the Americans, who also won in 2004 and 2010.
Rocco Grimaldi scored two goals for the USA. John Gibson, who was named the tournament MVP, made 26 saves for the Americans.
After a scoreless first period, the Swedes took a 1-0 lead with a power play goal 1:09 into the second. Filip Sandberg got to a loose puck in the slot and scored off a wrist shot.
The USA tied it at the 7:42 mark when Grimaldi skated out from behind the net and beat Swedish goaltender Niklas Lundstrom with a sharp angle shot.
Less than three minutes later the USA took a 2-1 lead when a Jacob Trouba shot from the right point deflected off Grimaldi and past Lundstrom.
Sweden had some quality chances in the third period, but Gibson came up with big stops, making a pad save on a wrap-around bid by Viktor Arvidsson and a sharp save on a bid from the slot by Sebastian Collberg.
The Swedes pulled Lundstrom with just under two minutes left and Team USA’s Vince Trocheck sealed the win an with empty-net goal with 16 seconds remaining.
Stars prospect Emil Molin had no points, no shots and a minus-two rating in the game for Sweden. Molin, Dallas’ fourth round pick (105th overall) in 2011, finished the tournament with six points (two goals, four assists) in six games.
Russia tops Canada in OT for bronze
Valeri Nichushkin scored 1:35 into overtime to give Russia a 6-5 win over Canada in the gold medal game Saturday.
Canada, which overcame 3-1, 4-3 and 5-4 deficits in the game, failed to medal at the World Junior Championship for the first time since 1998.
“We left everything we had on the table,” Team Canada coach Steve Spott told reporters. “As hard as we worked today, fourth place isn’t acceptable to our country, but we’ll have to move on.”
Nail Yakupov scored two goals for the Russians. Ryan Nugent Hopkins had one goal and three assists for the Canadians.
Stars prospect Brett Ritchie scored one goal in the game, tallying off a scramble midway through the third period to tie the game at 5-5.
Ritchie, Dallas’ second round pick (44th overall) in 2011, ended the tournament with four points (one goal, three assists) in six games.
Tournament All-Star Team
MVP: John Gibson, USA
Goaltender: John Gibson, USA
Defenseman: Jacob Trouba, USA
Defenseman: Jake McCabe, USA
Forward: John Gaudreau, USA
Forward: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Canada
Forward: Filip Forsberg, Sweden
World Junior Championship Statistics
Statistics for Dallas Stars prospects at the 2013 World Junior Championship
|Radek Faksa||C||Czech Republic||6||0||2||2||+1||2||8|