Stockholm, SWE – Yesterday, Team USA defeated Team Finland 3-2 in a shootout to win the bronze medal game. USA took a 2-0 lead into the third period with goals from Craig Smith and Paul Stastny. However, Finland would score twice, both by Lauri Korpikoski, and force an overtime. Neither team could find a winner in the 10 minute four-on-four overtime, so it would go to a shootout. After one goal in the first three USA shootout attempts, Alex Galchenyuk, and one goal in the first two Finnish shootout attempts, Janne Pesonen, gave Korpikoski a chance to win the game but was denied by John Gibson. In international rules, after the first three shootout attempts for each team, a team can use any player they want as many times as they want in the sudden death rounds. Finnish phenom Mikael Granlund got to shoot first in the first sudden death round and completely missed the net. Galchenyuk would get the nod from head coach Joe Sacco in USA’s first sudden death round attempt and would not disappoint. Galchenyuk went backhand-forehand in both of his two shootout attempts and scored both times.
It was an incredible tournament for Team USA and they took home their first medal since 2004. The impact made by the younger players such as Gibson and Galchenyuk was outstanding. This tournament was the last major tournament before the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games next winter and USA Hockey definitely has to feel good about these results. Now, most of the players on this roster will probably not be on the olympic team. There are probably a few exceptions, like Paul Stastny, Erik Johnson, T.J. Oshie and maybe even Galchenyuk. John Gibson was arguably the team MVP after taking the #1 job from Ben Bishop during pool play. Who knows? Maybe even Gibson will get some chatter about being on the Olympic team……..Okay, that’s a stretch. I don’t that happens with guys like Ryan Miller, Jonathan Quick, Craig Anderson and Jimmy Howard. Oh and Tim Thomas, if he wants to. Anyway, I can’t wait for the Olympic hockey tournament.
Topics: 2013 IIHF World Championship, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Alex Galchenyuk, Ben Biship, Craig Anderson, Craig Smith, Erik Johnson, IIHF, Janne Pesonen, Jimmy Howard, Joe Sacco, John Gibson, Jonathan Quick, Lauri Korpikoski, Mikael Granlund, Paul Stastny, Ryan Miller, T.J. Oshie, Team FInland, Team USA, Tim Thomas