Friday, April 23, 2010

Team USA wins World Under-18 title

Jack Campbell made 33 saves as the U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team captured its second consecutive gold medal at the 2010 International Ice Hockey Federation World Men's Under-18 Championship after downing Sweden, 3-1, here tonight at Minsk Arena in Belarus.

Team USA closed out tournament play with a 6-0-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record while outscoring its opponents, 33-7.

"This has been one of the neatest experiences I've had as a coach and one of the better groups I've ever had the chance to work with," said Kurt Kleinendorst, head coach of Team USA. "I had heard so many things about [USA Hockey's National Team Development Program] prior, with regard to how special it was and how good this group was to work with. I think winning the gold medal is just the perfect ending to a great season."

The U.S. got the start it wanted when Luke Moffatt deflected Derek Forbort's shot past netminder Johan Gustafsson just 2:10 into the game. Campbell stopped all nine first-period shots he faced, many of which came on a five-minute power play for Sweden.

Team USA kept the pressure on when Nick Shore dug the puck out of the corner and fed Austin Czarnik, who then slid the puck to a charging Justin Faulk, who flipped it over Gustafsson at the 7:31 mark of the middle frame. Rocco Grimaldi made it 3-0 when he redirected Adam Clendening's wrist shot just inside the left post at 13:47 of the second period.

Despite a goal from Ludvig Rensfeldt at 6:54 of the third period, Team USA held off the relentless Swedish attack. Campbell stopped eight shots in the final frame to shut the door.

NOTES: Campbell received the directorate award as the tournament's best goaltender and was also named Team USA's Player of the Game today. Campbell finishes his Under-18 career with a 0.80 goals-against average and .966 save percentage, to go along with five shutouts in 10 games played. He had not allowed a goal in 274:12 minutes of action until Sweden's goal at 6:54 of the third period ... Campbell and Clendening received tournament media all-star honors and, along with Jon Merrill, were named Team USA's best three players ... Campbell and Jason Zucker became the first two American men at any level to capture three IIHF gold medals after winning the top prize at the 2009 World Men's Under-18 Championship, the 2010 World Junior Championship and the 2010 World Under-18 Championship ... Clendening (3-7--10), Shore (3-7--10) and Grimaldi (2-8--10) tied for the U.S. lead with 10 points each ... The U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team became the first U.S. National Team to earn a gold medal in a former Soviet Socialist State at any level ... The U.S. has earned an unprecedented seven consecutive medals at the IIHF World Men's Under-18 Championship, which includes four gold (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010), two silver (2004, 2007) and one bronze (2008). Team USA also captured the gold medal in 2002. Team USA's eight overall medals are tied with Russia for the most ever at the IIHF World Men's Under-18 Championship ... The United States owns the title in each of the IIHF amateur championships with gold medals at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship and 2010 IIHF World Men's Under-18 Championship. Additionally, the U.S. is the defending champion at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and World Junior A Challenge, giving it four international titles at the Under-20 level.

No comments: