U.S. Upsets Canada, Will Play For Gold

Rocco Grimaldi and Team USA will play for gold at the World Junior Championship.

The Americans stunned Canada 5-1 in the semifinals early Thursday morning thanks to a pair of goals by Wisconsin defenseman Jake McCabe and Boston College forward Johnny Gaudreau.

Harvard forward Jimmy Vesey also scored for Team USA, while John Gibson was once again outstanding in net, stopping 33 of 34 shots.

Grimaldi set McCabe up for the second goal, which ended up being the eventual game-winner.

The last UND player to win a gold medal at the World Juniors was Danny Kristo (gold) in 2010. Derek Forbort and Brock Nelson won bronze in 2011.

Last year, the U.S. flopped and finished seventh, but the Americans are back on track this year. After dropping back-to-back 2-1 games against Canada and Russia, the U.S. faced an elimination game against Slovakia. Since then, they have outscored three opponents by the combined score of 21-4.

The U.S. will try to win its third goal medal ever in the event at 7 a.m. Saturday morning against Sweden. The U.S. also won gold in 2004 and 2010.

For Canada, this was a deeply disappointing loss. The Canadians figured to have one of their best teams ever with the NHL lockout allowing them to have their NHL players like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. However, the tournament ended with Canada suffering its most lopsided loss at the World Junior Championship since December 1997.

11 Responses

  1. someone other than "ME"

    The assist from Rocco was slick. But I cannot stand how the commentators were grilling his every move. Any time Jones or Miller made a stupid move they just talked about something else, but once Grimaldi got the poke or a stick on him, they had to criticize his abilities – not just his style.

    Similar feelings, Brad?

  2. czupfer

    US looks absolutely dominate through this tournament. Could/should have beat Russia and Canada the first time around. Seemed like we outplayed them and had better chances but could not put the puck away. Different story today.

    Go USA! Rocco scores the winner in the final and comes back to tear up the WCHA.

  3. tkk

    What’s the background of the color guy on this broadcast, and what reason does he have to dislike Grimaldi. He singled him out every time a pass didn’t make it through, and when he made the cross seam pass to McCabe for the second goal, the guy started to mention the pass, realized it was Grimaldi, and never said another word about how good a pass it was, and, never again mentioned the pass or assist, although he gushed over the pass made to Mccabe on his first goal. Very strange listening to this guy’s anti-Grimaldi broadcast. He seems totally enamored with the US team and all the other players, but definitely does not like Grimaldi. What’s with that?

  4. mpls hockey

    not to mention the shift about half way through the 3rd where rocco made a few nice setups and helped roll the corners / put on the forecheck that took back momentum when canada had had some control of the momentum…

  5. tkk

    Yep, yet another unrecognized contribution, when Canada was dominating 3 US lines in the third, the Biggs line came out and spent the entire shift in the Canadian end, in no small part due to Rocco’s play below the goal line (and going wide which Radek appears to dislike in “Rocco’s game”), slowing the Canadian momentum considerably.

  6. Sioux-per-man

    Brad if Rocco wins gold on Saturday he will be the 6th UND player to do so? Who were the other 5?

  7. Conspiracy theorist

    Congratulation to the player of the gold medal game Mr. Grimaldi. Truly a gold medal effort, demonstrating that patience and hard work do pay off! How about that coach as well, only the third USA gold medal in the history of the tournament. We could use a coach like that, meaning able to win the big one.

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