World Jrs

USA downs Sweden to claim bronze at World Juniors

{eot} Staff
1/5/2011 6:33:03 PM
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The United States will not be going home empty handed as they have capture the bronze by beating Sweden 4-2 at the World Junior Hockey Championship.

It is the first time ever that the Americans have won medals in consecutive tournaments after defeating Canada for the gold last year in Saskatoon and Regina.

Chris Kreider scored twice while Jack Campbell made 34 saves to clinch the victory for the States.

It was an odd start to this one as the building was less than half full to begin the game, with many patrons sporting Team Canada jerseys.  Perhaps due to that, the tone was somewhat subdued in the opening frame as both teams attempted to feel each other out.

Fredrik Petersson Wentzel, who was a surprise selection in net for the Swedes, was stellar in the opening frame, stopping all 13 shots he saw including great scoring chances by Emerson Etem and Kyle Palmieri.

The action picked up considerably in the second period, with Oscar Lindberg drawing first blood for the Swedes on a rebound that Campbell could not control.  His second of the tournament made it 1-0.

The USA responded less than two minutes later on the power play as Chris Brown found Kreider in front of the net.  He beat Petersson Wentzel for his first of two on the night.

The Americans took their first lead of the game just 52 seconds into the final frame as Justin Faulk's point shot was deftly tipped home by Drew Shore for his second of the competition to give the States a 2-1 advantage.

With time winding down, it appeared as though Nick Bjugstad had put this one on ice as he beat Petersson Wentzel on a deflection in front to give Team USA some breathing room late in the period.

The two goal lead lasted less than three minutes as Jesper Fath beat Campbell with a backhand to give the Tre Kronor some life late in this one.

The Swedes medal hopes were extinguished moments later as Palmieri and Kreider broke in two-on-one on the Swedish net.  Kreider picked the top corner for his fourth of the tourament and the celebrations got underway in Buffalo.

The victory gives the Americans their first ever medal on home ice in four tries.  Meanwhile Sweden finishes off the podium for the first time since 2007.

Sweden was once again forced to do without captain Gabriel Landeskog who suffered an ankle injury earlier in the tournament and did not dress for the game.

Team USA celebrate (Photo: Rick Stewart/Getty Images)


(Photo: Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
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