On January 5, 2017, the U.S. National Junior Team beat Canada in a shootout to win the gold medal at the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship.
The win capped off an undefeated tournament for the U.S. team and brings the gold medal count at the IIHF World Junior Championship for Team USA up to four.
Troy Terry (Highlands Ranch, CO) provided heroics for the U.S. in the shootout as he scored the lone goal for either team. The shootout game-winner was the second in a row for Terry as he scored three times in the shootout, including the deciding goal, against Russia in the team’s 4-3 semifinal victory.
"What a terrific game between two fantastic hockey countries," said Bob Motzko, head coach of Team USA. "When we got together in Michigan for our camp this summer, there was something special with these guys. This team had great camaraderie, tremendous heart and always battled. This is a special group who will forever walk together."
The U.S. showcased its resiliency against Canada, overcoming a pair of two-goal deficits to force overtime. Goaltender Tyler Parsons (Chesterfield, MI) came up huge for the U.S. late in the game, making 17 saves in the extra session and stopping all five of Canada’s shootout attempts.
Charlie McAvoy (Long Beach, NY) and Clayton Keller (St. Louis, MO) were named to the Media All-Star team. McAvoy was named the U.S. Player of the Game in the gold medal game and led U.S. defensemen with six points (2-4--6). Keller led all U.S. players in scoring, finishing the tournament with 11 points (3-8--11).
Five Minnesotans helped the U.S. team win gold including Jack Ahcan (Burnsville, MN), Joey Anderson (Roseville, MN), Kieffer Bellows (Edina, MN), Ryan Lindgren (Minneapolis, MN) and Jacob Oettinger (Lakeville, MN). Bellows led the Minnesotans with three points (2-1--3) including two goals in the gold medal game. Lindgren was the U.S. Player of the Game against Canada in their pool play game but was forced to miss the championship due to illness.
The U.S. was also led by two prominent coaches from Minnesota. Head coach Bob Motzko is an Austin, MN native and is the head coach at St. Cloud State University. Joining him was Grant Potulny of the University of Minnesota coaching staff. Potulny (Grand Forks, ND) won two NCAA national championships as a player with the Gophers and is in his eighth season as an assistant coach for the team.
For a full recap and highlights from the gold medal game, click here.