Two goals by Rocco Grimaldi, and a late empty-netter by Vince Trocheck, were all the stout United States defense, led by goaltender John Gibson needed to earn a 3-1 victory over Sweden in the final of the 2013 World Junior tournament, to earn America's second gold medal in four years, and just third gold medal overall in the event.
In a tournament often decided on the wild swings of emotion prone to youth, the play of the United States, especially in the third period as they protected a 2-1 lead was calm, cool, and professional. Even Sweden's best chances of the period were usually stopped by a diving defender before they even had a chance to make it to Gibson.
A lot of credit has to go to USA Hockey for preparing their players for this. I happened to be in the building the first time the core of this team took the ice as members of the NTDP U17, and frankly, they were awful. It's really incredible to see what they've been forged in to. Gold medalists at the World Under-17 Challenge. Gold medalists at the World U18s. And now, gold on amateur hockey's biggest stage: the World Juniors.