In a surprise to most hockey fans, Finland defeated favored Russia (4-3) today in the gold medal round and pre-tournament betting favorite, team Canada, sat out the medal round of the World Junior Hockey Championships.
The US Juniors captured the bronze medal in a convincing 8-2 victory over Sweden following a disappointing loss after outplaying Russia Monday. The US finished the tournament 5-0-0-2 and landed its fourth medal in the last seven championships.
US goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic was named one of team USA’s top three players of the tournament, along with forward Auston Matthews and defensement Zach Werenski, a University of Michigan player.
Matthews scored a tournament leading seven goals. The Arizona native who was said to be looking at DU as a playing option at one point, is considered the top prospect for the NHL draft.
Nedeljkovic ranked second in the tournament among goalies in both goals against (1.66) and save percentage (94.27) in seven starts.
US college hockey players contributed mightily in the Swedish rout. Anders Bjork (Notre Dame) scored two goals. Ryan Donato of Harvard scored a pair of goals. Brock Boeser (North Dakota) scored a goal and teammate Nick Schmaltz (North Dakota) provided an assist.
A great showing by Team USA.