Tuesday, January 5, 2016

USA Wins Bronze Medal at World Juniors

The U.S. National Junior Team defeated Sweden today, 8-3, in Helsinki, Finland to finish in third place at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championships.

It is the first WJC bronze medal for the U.S. since 2011, and first WJC medal overall since winning gold in Russia in 2013. The U.S. has now claimed three gold, one silver, and four bronze medals in WJC play all-time, according to worldjuniors.usahockey.com.

Anders Bjork (Notre Dame) and Ryan Donato (Harvard) each scored two goals for Team USA on Tuesday, while Nick Schmaltz (North Dakota) posted three assists. Donato's first goal stood up as the game-winner, after Brock Boeser (North Dakota) put the U.S. ahead, 3-2, for good early in the second period, via usahockey.com.

The Americans were relegated to this year's bronze medal game after a 2-1 semifinal-round loss yesterday to Russia, which fell to host Finland, 4-3, in overtime in the gold medal match. The only U.S. loss in the preliminary round this year came against Sweden, 1-0,

The Americans finished with a 3-0-0-1 record in round-robin play, with victories over Canada, Denmark and Switzerland. The U.S. then bested the Czech Republic, 7-0, on Saturday in a quarterfinal-round contest.

According to worldjunior2016.com, the U.S. boasted the top save percentage (.948) and top goals-against average (1.44) in this year's tournament. Next year's WJC will return to Montreal and Toronto, site of the 2015 gathering, where the U.S. finished in fifth place overall as host Canada won the gold medal.

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