Americans win World Junior hockey title
Ufa, Russia (Sports Network) - Rocco Grimaldi scored a pair of goals and John Gibson made 26 saves, as the United States captured the World Junior hockey title with a 3-1 victory over Sweden in the gold medal game.
Vince Trocheck scored into an empty net to seal it for the Americans, who previously won this tournament in 2004 and 2010.
Filip Sandberg netted the lone goal for Sweden, which had to settle for the silver medal after winning gold last year. Niklas Lundstrom made 31 saves in defeat.
After a scoreless first period, Sandberg gave Sweden a 1-0 lead just 1:09 into the second with a wrist shot from the right circle. The Americans then scored twice midway through the period to move in front.
Grimaldi's first of the tournament tied it, as he curled out from behind the net and fired a sharp-angle shot from below the left circle that snuck past Lundstrom on the short side at the 7:42 mark.
Just 2:45 later, Jacob Trouba's wrister from the right point deflected off Grimaldi in front of the crease for a 2-1 edge.
The Swedes had plenty of chances for the equalizer in the third period, but Gibson was there every time. He turned aside eight shots and saw a few Swedish opportunities bounce wide during the final stanza.
Gibson was named the tournament's MVP.
After a seventh-place finish in last year's tournament, the Americans found themselves 1-2 in round-robin play this year following a pair of 2-1 losses to Russia and Canada, staring at another trip to the relegation round. They needed a win over Slovakia in the Group B finale just to reach the quarterfinals and the 9-3 rout provided a much-needed spark.
The momentum carried over.
The Americans rolled to a 7-0 quarterfinal win over the Czech Republic before pulling off a stunning 5-1 triumph over Canada in the semifinals to set up Saturday's meeting with Sweden.
Sweden had knocked off tournament-host Russia, 3-2, in a shootout to reach the gold medal game.
Russia captured the bronze medal earlier Saturday with a 6-5 overtime win over Canada.
Valeri Nichushkin netted the overtime winner and Nail Yakupov scored twice for Russia, which had to fight off numerous Canadian comeback attempts.
Canada went down 2-0 and 3-1 before knotting the contest at 3-3, then trailed 4-3 and 5-4 before tying it each time.
Nichushkin ended it with a brilliant goal just 1:35 into the overtime period. He raced down the right wing and drove to the net from the corner before stuffing a shot past Canadian goaltender Malcolm Subban.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who plays for the Edmonton Oilers, posted a goal and three assists for the Canadians, who failed to pick up a medal for the first time in 15 years.
01/05 10:44:03 ET