On the strength of two second-period goals from forward Rocco Grimaldi and 26 saves from goaltender John Gibson, USA beat defending champion Sweden 3-1 at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia to win the gold medal. It was Team USA’s first gold medal at the World Juniors since 2010.
After a scoreless first period, Sweden got on the board first with a power-play goal from Filip Sandberg 1:09 into the second. The lead didn’t last long, as Grimaldi tallied just over six minutes later, then added his second of the game and the eventual game-winner less than three minutes later. Those two scores were the first of the tournament for Grimaldi, a 2011 second-round pick of the Florida Panthers (33rd overall) who was named Player of the Game.
Grimaldi wasn’t the only American to win an award; Gibson was named the top goaltender of the tournament after posting a 5-2-1 record with a .955 save percentage and a phenomenal 1.36 goals-against average, and Jacob Trouba, who finished with nine points (four goals, five assists) and a +2 rating was named the tournament’s top defenseman. Gibson was a 2011 second round draft choice of the Anaheim Ducks (39th overall), and Trouba was the 9th overall selection for the Winnipeg Jets in the 2012 draft.
Vince Trocheck added an empty net tally with 16 seconds remaining in the game to seal the win for Team USA. Trocheck, like Grimaldi, was part of the Panthers’ 2011 draft class, having been selected in the third round of that year’s draft (64th overall).
With America winning gold, Sweden taking silver and host Russia grabbing the bronze, this was the first time in 15 years that Team Canada did not win a medal. Canada lost 6-5 to Russia in the bronze medal game.