U.S. beats Sweden, 8-3, to win bronze at world junior hockey championships

U.S. beats Sweden, 8-3, to win bronze at world junior hockey championships
Members of the U.S. team celebrate after their 8-3 victory over Sweden in the bronze medal match of the IIHF World Junior Ice Hockey Championship on Jan. 5. (Markku Ulander / Getty Images)

Anders Bjork, Matthew Tkachuk and Ryan Donato each scored two goals and the United States defeated Sweden, 8-3, on Tuesday to win bronze at the world junior hockey championship.

Kasperi Kapanen scored a wraparound goal 33 seconds into overtime and Finland rallied past Russia 4-3 to win the gold medal.


Bjork and Tkachuk gave the Americans a two-goal lead, but Sweden pulled even before the end of the opening period on goals by William Lagesson and Carl Grundstrom.

The U.S. pulled away with a four-goal second period as Brock Boeser, Donato, Brandon Carlo and Bjork scored.

"We played a good game today and overall a strong tournament so it's definitely something to be proud of," Bjork said.

Donato and Tkachuk added goals in the third period.

"Sweden's such a great team and they're so sound defensively," Donato said.

"If you told me before the game that this was going to be the score, I would say: `No way' But obviously we played really hard and it paid off," he said.

Alex Nedeljkovic made 35 saves for the United States.

"I think we had a pretty good tournament, we came here to win gold, but unfortunately that didn't happen," Nedeljkovic said. "Bronze, I guess, is the third-best thing. Better than going home empty-handed."

In the gold medal game, Patrik Laine, Sebastian Aho and captain Mikko Rantanen scored in the third period as Finland staged a late comeback. Kaapo Kahkonen made 22 saves.

Andrei Svetlakov scored twice for Russia, while Vladislav Kamenev also scored. Alexander Georgiev stopped 25 shots.

Kapanen deked around two defenders, skated around the back of Russia's goal and threw the puck into a wide-open net as Georgiev failed to dive back into position.

Svetlakov's second goal of the game came with just six seconds left in the third after Georgiev was pulled for an extra attacker.

It was Finland's fourth world junior title and second in the past three years.

The United States had a quick turnaround after losing to Russia 2-1 in the semifinals on Monday.


"It shouldn't be difficult at all to motivate yourself to play," Nedeljkovic said. "It's an honor to be able to wear the USA jersey. I was happy that we were able to come away with a win." Axel Holmstrom had the other goal for the Swedes, who outshot the Americans 38-29.