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Photo: Matt Zambonin - HHOF-IIHF Images
Posted: Friday, 06 January 2017 7:58AM

Team USA wins gold at World Juniors

For the first time since 2013, the United States are champions at the IIHF Under-20 World Junior Championship. The U.S. wins gold at the World Juniors after a 5-4 shootout win over Canada at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec.

The Americans fought back from a two-goal deficit twice and eventually forced an extra 20 minutes of play. After the overtime solved nothing, it took a five-round shootout to decide the outcome and crown a champion. The U.S. get their only goal from Anaheim Ducks prospect Troy Terry while Calgary Flames goalie Tyler Parsons did not allow a Canadian player to score in the shootout.

Canada started the scoring with two goals in the first period from defensemen Thomas Chabot (Ottawa Senators) and Jeremy Lauzon (Boston Bruins). The U.S. responded with two goals in the second period from defenseman Charlie McAvoy (Bruins) and forward Kieffer Bellows (New York Islanders).

It did not take long for the Canadians to re-take the lead as Carolina Hurricanes prospect Nicolas Roy scores just 1:52 into the third period. Just 2:13 later, Canada went back up by two with a breakaway goal from Tampa Bay Lightning prospect, Mathieu Joseph.

The U.S. did not give in to the Canadians and the raucous crowd in Montreal however, and came back with a goal just 39-seconds later to cut the deficit to one. It was Bellows who netted his second goal of the game on the third goal. The Americans quickly tied the game 2:23 later when Senators prospect Colin White re-directed a shot from the point past Canadian goalie, Carter Hart.

The game remained tied at 4-4 for the remainder of the game until the shootout. Parsons and Hart were both be heavily tested in net in the final stages of the game. Parsons ended the night with 46 saves on 50 shots faced, while Hart stopped 31 of 36 shots on goal from the U.S.

Sabres prospect Casey Fitzgerald struggled at times throughout the night, finishing the night with a penalty and a minus-2 rating in 24:04 of total ice time. Fitzgerald ends his tournament with three assists, six shots, three penalties and a minus-1 ranking in seven games played.

With the U.S. capturing gold and Canada earning the silver medal, Russia ended up capturing the bronze medal after a 2-1 overtime win over Sweden. After entering the 20-minute overtime tied 1-1, Dallas Stars prospect Denis Guryanov ended the game just 33-seconds in with a goal after some miscommunication between Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin and Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander.

Nylander ended the game without a point for the first time in the tournament. He also finished the tournament tied for the tournament lead in scoring with 12 points. Nylander was selected as a Media All-Star for the tournament at forward along with Russia's Kirill Kaprizov and Clayton Keller from the United States.

Here is the entire list of awards handed out at the tournament:

Media All-Stars:
Kirill Kaprizov Russia
Alexander Nylander Sweden
Clayton Keller United States
Thomas Chabot Canada
Charlie McAvoy United States
Felix Sandstrom Sweden

Best Players selected by Directorate:
Kiril Kaprizov Russia
Thomas Chabot Canada
Felix Sandstrom Sweden

Tournament MVP: Thomas Chabot (Canada)

Rasmus Asplund also finished the game without a point, ending his tournament with a goal and six assists in seven games. Asplund also finished as one of the top faceoff guys in the tournament winning 64-percent of his draws.

The next time we will see the World Junior Championship in action is next December when Buffalo hosts the tournament for the second time in seven years. The next time the United States will play Canada at the tournament will be on December 29 when they play outside at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York.