January 5, 2011

Kreider, U.S. capture bronze at World Juniors

PR Wire Report

Chris Kreider and Kyle Palmieri celebrate Kreider's second goal of the game during Team USA's 4-2 victory over Sweden for the bronze medal in the World Junior Championship. (photo: Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Boston College sophomore forward Chris Kreider (Boxford, Mass.) scored twice and Kyle Palmieri logged two assists, as the U.S. National Junior Team captured the bronze medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship with a 4-2 win over Sweden Wednesday at the HSBC Arena.

Team USA finished the tournament with a 4-1-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record and earned consecutive medals for the first time in tournament history, having won gold last year in Saskatchewan. This year's bronze medal marked the seventh medal — and fourth in the past eight years — in U.S. National Junior Team history.

"It was an honor to be behind the bench for the United States," said Keith Allain (Worcester, Mass.), head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "Our guys played with a lot of pride tonight, and they really came together over the last few weeks to represent their country."

Sweden scored the game's first goal 12 minutes into the second period, but Team USA responded less than two minutes later. Chris Brown received the puck behind Sweden's net and fed Kreider in the slot, who fired a shot low past the left pad of Sweden goalie Fredrik Petersson Wentzel.

Team USA took its first lead of the game just 52 seconds into the third period. Drew Shore redirected a long wrist shot by Justin Faulk past Petersson Wentzel for his second goal of the tournament. Then, at 11:40 of the third, Nick Bjugstad notched a redirection goal of his own to give the United States a 3-1 lead.

While Sweden briefly narrowed the gap to one, Kreider put the game away with less than two minutes remaining when he buried a two-on-one chance high to the stick side past Petersson Wentzel.

U.S. goaltender Jack Campbell made 34 saves in the win, while Petersson Wentzel stopped 40 shots in a losing effort.

NOTES: Chris Kreider was named Team USA's Player of the Game. … Team USA finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while Sweden was 0-for-3 with the man advantage. The United States allowed only one power-play goal during the tournament, which Canada scored while on a two-man advantage. … Charlie Coyle (East Weymouth, Mass./Boston University), Jon Merrill and Jack Campbell were named Team USA's top players of the tournament. … Coyle, Kreider and Palmieri tied for the lead on Team USA with six points each in six games. … Kreider led Team USA with four goals in six games, and his 10 goals in two World Junior Championship appearances is tied for the fourth most in U.S. National Junior Team history. … Campbell finished the tournament with a 4-1-0-1 record, 1.70 goals-against average and .941 save percentage. … Attendance at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship eclipsed 330,000 fans, marking the most well attended World Junior Championship on U.S. soil and the second-most attended tournament ever (behind 2009 in Ottawa, Ontario).

Additional information on Team USA, including a team blog, stats and a media guide, can be found at USAHockey.com.