Thursday, January 3, 2013

U.S. to Play for Gold on Saturday

The U.S. National Junior Team will play defending champion Sweden in the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship gold medal game on Saturday at 8 a.m. ET (NHL Network) in Ufa, Russia.

The U.S. got two goals apiece from Johnny Gaudreau (Boston College) and captain Jake McCabe (Wisconsin) in defeating Canada, 5-1, in a semifinal game on Thursday. Jim Vesey (Harvard) had the other American goal, while John Gibson (Kitchener/OHL) made 33 saves. Gaudreau now has seven goals and two assists in his last three games.

Team USA, which won gold in 2010 in OT against Canada in Saskatchewan, avenged a 2-1 preliminary-round loss to the Canadians from earlier in this tournament. Sweden edged host Russia, 3-2,  in a shootout in the other semifinal today.

The U.S. record now stands at four wins and two losses, with the other loss coming to Russia in the preliminary round by a 2-1 score. The U.S. has also beaten Germany, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, but has not played Sweden since a 3-2 exhibition win just before the tournament began.

Saturday will be a little bit bigger than that.

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