Grimaldi, Gibson Star as US Bags Gold in World Junior Hockey
Ufa, Russian Federation
Rocco Grimaldi scored two goals in the second period while goalie John Gibson made 26 saves as the United States defeated Sweden, 3-1, to capture the gold medal in the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship at Ufa Arena.
The victory marked the third gold medal for the United States at the WJC, following triumphs in 2004 and 2010, while Sweden earned its 10th silver medal after suffering their first loss in six games.
US head coach Phil Housley later credited the squad's outstanding teamwork and the leadership of its veterans for the victory.
"The players just bought into their team game plan, and hats go off to this leadership group," said Housley. "Seth Jones, Cole Bardreau, J.T. Miller, Jacob Trouba and captain Jake McCabe -- they did a tremendous job. You need leadership in these types of tournaments, and they provided it for us."
All 22 players on the US roster had at least one point, including goalie Gibson with two assists while 15 players scored at least one goal.
"We knew coming in that we had great depth along the forward lines, and it just turned out that 22 guys would help bring it home," Jones added.
"Guys fought hard all game … blocking shots and doing whatever it took to win. We played to our strengths. When you get right down to it, we did what we had to do to win," McCabe said after the victory.
The victory capped the Americans' outstanding play in the last four games, when they outscored Slovakia, Czech Republic, Canada and Sweden, 24-5.
The win was even sweeter for Grimaldi, who was demoted from the top line to fourth-line duty and never saw the ice against Slovakia but was chosen as player of the game for the Americans.
A Carolina Panthers prospect, Grimaldi was a late cut from the 2011 WJC team and was unable to participate in last year's tournament due to injury.
Sweden opened a 1-0 edge in the second period behind Filip Sandberg's second goal of the tournament but the Americans tied the game with Grimaldi's first goal, 7:42 into the second period.
Grimaldi then gave the US a 2-1 lead before Vince Trocheck sealed the deal with an empty-net goal in the dying seconds of the game.
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