Team USA captured the Gold Medal today in the World Junior Championships, defeating Sweden 3-1 in the Gold Medal game.
Two goals by Rocco Grimaldi and a strong defensive game led by goaltender John Gibson propelled the Americans to victory. Vince Trocheck’s empty-netter clinched it for the Americans.
Afterwards the awards immediately came for goaltender John Gibson who is the buzz of the tournament. Gibson was named Tournament MVP, Best Goaltender and was named to the All-Star Team.
A FEW TOURNAMENT THOUGHTS
— Watching Team USA during the tournament they looked like a team that’s been playing together for months. They were a great coached team and everyone seemed to buy into the system put into place.
What stood out was Team USA’s speed, it was a major difference against Canada and was again today. The Americans played a style where they attack you offensively with speed and come at you on the forecheck, are tenacious, and their defensemen do a good job of picking their spots of when to jump up into the play.
Defensively, the Americans played an aggressive style where they were very effective at keeping teams to the outside and these group of defensemen can skate and you couldn’t dump the puck in and beat them for pucks. If you have great goaltender and good special teams in a short tournament, you’re going to have a great shot at winning and the Americans had all of that and played a great penalty kill structure.
— Despite his size (5-foot-6), I think Team USA forward John Gaudreau has a very bright future in the NHL. Gaudreau has a ton of offensive skill and was excellent in the tournament with seven goals and reminds me of Brian Gionta. Gaudreau was the Flames 4th round pick in 2011 and is a sophomore at Boston College.
— JT Miller (Rangers 2011 1st round pick) played center in the tournament and finished with 2 goals and 7 assists. However, it’s the little things he does (that don’t show up on the score sheet) that stand out to me and is why I feel he’s going to have a long NHL career. He has a very high hockey IQ.
— The Anaheim Ducks look like they’ve found a potential long-term goaltender in John Gibson who they selected with the 39th overall pick in the 2011 draft. He looks like the real deal and finished the tournament with a .955 save percentage and 1.36 goals against average.
— Sweden’s Filip Forsberg (Capitals 2012 1st round pick) was named to tournament All-Star team and while he didn’t light up the score sheet, had 3 goals and 5 points in the tournament, Forsberg sure would look good in the Penguins system if they would have taken him with the No. 8 overall selection in the 2012 draft over Derrick Pouliot.