UFA, RUSSIA - The United States won the gold medal in the IIHF World Junior Championships junior on Saturday after Rocco Grimaldi scored twice and Vince Trocheck added an empty-net goal for a 3-1 victory over Sweden.
"I couldn't be more proud of our players and staff," said Phil Housley, head coach of the U.S. team. "And I'm also really happy for hockey fans in our country. This was a total team effort throughout the tournament.
"It was a very difficult challenge tonight against an excellent Swedish team. We had a terrific experience here and I'd like to thank the Russian Hockey Federation for being an excellent host."
"Gold medal champions," tweeted U.S. defenseman Mike Reilly, a Gophers freshman. "Can't even describe the feeling right now."
Filip Sandberg put defending champion Sweden ahead on power-play goal early in the second period, but Grimaldi, a redshirt freshman forward at North Dakota, then scored twice in a three-minute span to swing the game in the Americans' favor.
He powered from behind the net to score his first goal, and then redirected defenseman Jacob Trouba's shot from the blue line midway through the second period for his second.
Sweden pulled its goalie for an extra attacker with 1:42 left to play but failed to capitalize. Instead, Trocheck got an insurance goal with 16.7 seconds left.
John Gibson made 26 saves for the U.S. team and was named the MVP of the tournament. Niklas Lundstrom had 31 saves for Sweden.
It was the third title for the Americans, who also won in 2004 and 2010.
Earlier, Valeri Nichushkin scored an overtime winner to give Russia a 6-5 victory over Canada in the bronze medal match. The U.S. beat Canada 5-1 in the semifinals.