The U.S. men's junior national hockey team won its third gold medal in four seasons Saturday by besting Sweden 3-1 in the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
Sweden opened the scoring early in the second before Rocco Grimaldi evened the game about seven minutes into the frame. Grimaldi scored the game-winner three minutes later off a deflection. Vince Trocheck scored an empty-netter in the final seconds.
The team was coached by former Buffalo Sabre Phil Housley, who probably peaked the interest of NHL teams with his job in Russia. He said he told the team to focus on smaller tasks in these medal round game in order to come out on top:
"I told the team before the game to focus on our commitment to defense and use our speed and strength to aggressively pursue the puck. We wanted to win the 1-on-1 battles, and it was key that we narrow our focus and not look at the big picture. We just needed to win our shifts and each period."
Sabres prospect Jake McCabe – the U.S. team captain – was named to the all-tournament team.
The U.S. team finished with a 5-0-0-2 record. It went 2-0-0-2 in round-robin play before winning three straight to claim gold.
In the bronze medal game, Russia beat Canada 6-5 in overtime.Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, NHL