Thursday, January 5, 2017

U.S. Wins 2017 World Junior Gold

For the first time in four years and second since 2010, the U.S. National Junior Hockey Team is golden.

The Americans rallied from a pair of two-goal deficits on Wednesday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal to defeat host Canada, 5-4, in a shootout in the gold-medal game of the 2017 IIHF Under-20 World Junior Championship.

Troy Terry (Denver) was again the hero in the extra session for the Americans. Following a scoreless 20-minute overtime period, Terry tallied the only goal of the shootout to lift Team USA to its first WJC gold medal since 2013 in Russia. He had three shootout goals the day before in 4-3 semifinal win over Russia. Tyler Parsons made 46 saves for the U.S. on Wednesday, while also stopping all five Canadian shootout attempts.

Trailing 2-0 after the opening 20 minutes, Team USA knotted things up on goals by Boston University teammates Charlie McAvoy and Kiefer Bellows (power-play goal). After Canada connected twice early in the third period to again pull ahead, 4-2, Bellows scored his second goal of the game to bring the U.S. back within one.

Colin White (Boston College) then tied the game with just under 13 minutes remaining in regulation. White finished with a team-high seven goals in seven games for the Americans (7-0-0), and along with McAvoy also played on last year's American WJC squad that won bronze in Finland. Canada outshot the U.S., 50-36, on the night, including 17-7 in overtime

The U.S. has now won four gold medals (2004, 2010, 2013, 2017) in WJC competition, with three of those wins in the championship game coming against Canada.

Russia defeated Sweden earlier on Wednesday, 2-1 in overtime, to claim this year's bronze medal. Next year's WJC competition will be held in Buffalo for the first time since 2011, when the U.S. won bronze.

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