2013 World Juniors Report (Medal Day)

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It finally arrived after two weeks in Ufa, Russia the Medal day was here as the new champion would be determined and the rest of the rankings would be sorted out. Would it be the Americans who finished in 7th place in 2012 or the Swedes who could repeat as champions. In the bronze medal game who could recover from a disappointing tournament from both of the top hockey powers. The day would move on with only the two medal games on the schedule and all eyes on the top four teams. In the bronze medal game the Canadians and Russians would face off for the second time in the tournament. The first time these two faced off it was the Canadians who would disappoint the home team with a 4-1 win to win first place in the pool. Now they would take their rivalry to the Bronze medal game where one team would salvage what they could from a disappointing tournament and the other would go home empty-handed. It was a back and forth battle that would look back to the old days of this rivalry where the last team to score would win the game. The Russians would never go down in the game although the Canadians continued to tie the game up and push them into overtime. In the end it was the home town Russians who would win the game with an overtime goal as they would salvage at least a medal out of the tournament. The Canadians would go home empty-handed and would break their medal streak of 14 years to continue the downfall of the Canadian Juniors. Aster the Bronze was decided it would come down to one game between the defending champion Swedes and the comeback Americans. The USA had finished 7th in the 2012 tournament in an embarrassing performance two years after winning the Gold. Meanwhile the Swedes had won last year to break a long streak of not winning the gold and now they were in a position to repeat as champions. The game would start in a defensive battle with no goals scored in the first period as Swedish goaltender Niklas Lundstrom looked to be a difference maker in the game early. The Swedes would get on the scoreboard early in the second when Filip Sandberg scored on the powerplay to start the period. Then the Americans would begin to close everything down as the defence began to play even better and nothing would get by John Gibson. Rocco Grimaldi would get the Americans on the board in the second to tie the game and he would add another goal later in the second to go ahead. From that point on it was the American defence that would star in the game as they would only allow 27 shots on goal throughout the game. Vince Trocheck would add a third goal for the Americans that would put the game away and give the Americans their second Gold medal in three years. It would end the Swedes’ chance to repeat although they would earn a silver medal and repeat as a medalist in the World Juniors. The Americans would take home the gold and would put themselves back into the top four of the tournament. After a year when they finished in 7th place and many thought that they may not be as strong as they had been the Americans proved everyone wrong. They solidified themselves among the top four teams in the tournament and became the first team to earn another gold medal in the last 5 years since the Canadian five-peat. The Americans are a representation of the change of this tournament as the Russians and Canadians cannot expect to win every year. Teams are getting better and the big four are truly becoming the big four as they have been the champions in the last five years with no repeats. The tournament is getting better and better which is great for the fans as game are getting better and better and round robin becomes more important. This year it is the Americans’ time to reign in junior hockey as the rest of the teams look to Malmo, Sweden next year to see if they can improve or repeat in what has become one of the most competitive tournaments in the world.



Bronze Medal Game:
Russia 6 – 5 Canada (OT)
– Neither team wanted to be here but if they were here they might as well win the game and end a disappointing tournament with a medal and it was the home country who would come out on top ending the Canadians’ 14 year medal streak


Gold Medal Game:
USA 3 – 1 Sweden
– The USA would win with their defence led by John Gibson as they would win their first gold medal since 2010 and would erase the memories of a 7th place finish in 2012 while ending the chance of a Swedish repeat as champions


Final Rankings:
1. USA [Gold]
2. Sweden [Silver]
3. Russia [Bronze]
4. Canada
5. Czech Republic
6. Switzerland
7. Finland
8. Slovakia
9. Germany
10. Latvia [Relegated]

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