USA Tops Sweden; Wins 2013 WJC Championship
Catching fire after pool-play losses to Canada and Russia during a survival game against Slovakia just to make the quarterfinals, Team USA stormed its way to the 2013 World Junior Championship title with a 3-1 win over Sweden in Ufa, Russia.
Goalie John Gibson continued his run of stellar saves, and forward Rocco Grimaldi, who'd been struggling, scored twice, with the winner being a gritty goal he deflected off a cannon shot from the point by all-tourney defenseman Jacob Trouba.
It's the United States' third WJC win overall and first since 2010.
Gibson, named the event's top goaltender, combined with the American defensive corps' ability to keep the speedy Swedes out of the slot, which proved to be a key element in silencing one of the most potent offenses in the tournament.
One feature of this year's Team USA was its geographic diversity: Gibson and forwards Vince Trocheck and JT Miller are from Western Pennsylvania, Grimaldi is originally from Southern California, Shayne Gostisbehere hails from Florida, and star defenseman Seth Jones -- son of Popeye Jones, a Murray State Racer who compiled an 11-year NBA career -- was born in Plano, Texas before growing up in Denver.
Russia beat Canada, the pre-tournament favorite, in the bronze-medal game. Latvia was relegated, being replaced by Norway for the 2014 tournament, to be held in Malmö, Sweden.