The United States earned its third medal in three years at the IIHF Under-20 World Junior Championship on Friday, as the Americans routed the Czech Republic, 9-3, in Buffalo to win the bronze medal. It is the seventh WJC bronze medal ever for Team USA, and its second in three years.
Trent Frederic (Wisconsin) tallied four goals for the U.S, which also got two goals from Kiefer Bellows (Boston University/Portland-WHL). Bellows’ two scores gave him a tournament-leading nine goals, which also set a new record for an American player. Jake Oettinger (Boston University) finished with 28 stops for the U.S., before giving way in the final few minutes to WJC newcomer Jeremy Swayman (Maine). The U.S. led, 1-0, after one period on a Frederic goal, and then added five more scores in the second period to lead, 6-0, after 40 minutes of play. Team USA also outshot the Czechs, 39-32, overall.
Bellows was named a tournament all-star, as was U.S. forward Casey Mittelstadt (Minnesota), who led all scorers with four goals and seven assists for a tournament-high 11 points. Mittelstadt was also named this year’s WJC Top Forward, and its Most Valuable Player.
Canada defeated Sweden, 3-1, in the gold medal game on Friday night to win its second goal in four years. Dante Fabbro (Boston University), Cale Makar (Massachusetts) and Colton Point (Colgate) were the lone NCAA players on this year’s Canadian squad. The U.S. defeated Canada in a shootout in Montreal last year to win the gold, while next year’s WJC will be held in the Vancouver area.