The 2013 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships (WJHC) started on December 26, 2012 and finished with the gold medal hockey game held on January 5, 2013. Ufa, Russia, was the host of this 37th WJHC, which thrilled hockey fans of all ages.
The U.S. National Junior Team won the gold medal, beating the defending champions, the Swedish team 3 to 1 to take home their third title. It was the Americans` first medal since the 2010 WJHC. John Gibson, a goalie for the U.S. team, was named the tournament`s MVP.
The Russian team beat the favored Canadian team 6 to 5 in overtime to take home the bronze medal. This was the first time the hockey team from Canada didn`t win a medal since the 1998 tournament.
Gold Medal Game: U.S. vs. Sweden
The U.S. headed to the final game, all pumped up after firm wins over Canada, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Going into the gold medal game, the American team had outscored its last two opponents by a 12 to 1 margin. The team had the right combination of defensive power and offensive prowess, along with excellent plays at the net.
But the Swedish team is known for their unique blend of fabulous speed and great skill on the ice. Add those attributes to their obvious hunger to defend their team`s gold medal and hockey fans knew this would be a game to watch. It sure was.
The two teams combined for 18 shots on the goal in the opening period alone, 11 of those shots made by the American team, but neither team scored. Three of the game`s four total goals were made during the second period. The Swedish team scored first, making their only goal of the game, but Rocco Grimaldi, the American forward, tied up the game a little more than six minutes later. Grimaldi scored the go-ahead goal just a few minutes later, giving the Americans the lead they needed to win the game.
John Gibson, the American goalie, was able to make eight of his 36 saves during the third period. With just a few seconds left to play in the third, Vince Trocheck on the U.S. team was able to score the last goal made in this game.
The Swedish team fought hard, but the U.S. team was in complete control. MVP Gibson guided his guys to a gold medal, while the team from Sweden went home with the silver.
Bronze Medal Game: Russia vs. Canada
Russia won the bronze medal game, defeating the Canadians to take third place on home ice. Many fans were surprised that those two teams, perennial gold-medal favorites, had to duke it out for third.
The Russian players, Nail Yakupov, Alexander Khokhlachev and Kirill Dyakov made the first three goals for their team in the first eight minutes of game play. The Canadian coach yanked his goalie and Canada`s lethal offense kept them in the game.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the Canadian team captain, managed to score and teammate, Jonathan Huberdeau scored again just before the first intermission. Canada`s Mark Scheifele tied the game with his goal made just after the break.
A little more than a minute later, a goal made by Yevgeni Mozer allowed Russia to regain the lead, but Ryan Murphy of Canada tied up the game again. Russian captain, Nail Yakupov scored his second goal of the game in the third period to give his team a 5 to 4 lead.
Brett Ritchie scored a goal for Canada about 10 minutes later that would force the game into overtime. Russia`s Valeri Nichuskin scored about 90 seconds into the extra frame to give Russia the bronze.
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