UFA, Russia – The United States won the junior ice hockey championships on Saturday after Rocco Grimaldi scored twice and Vince Trocheck added an empty-net goal for a 3-1 win over Sweden in the final.
Filip Sandberg put defending champion Sweden ahead on power play early in the second period, but Grimaldi then scored twice in a three-minute span to swing the game in the Americans’ favor.
He powered from behind the net to score, and then redirected Jacob Trouba’s slap shot from the blue line midway through second period.
Sweden pulled its goalie for an extra player with 1:42 left but failed to capitalize. Instead, Trocheck rounded off the win with 16.7 seconds left.
John Gibson made 26 saves for the victory and was named the MVP of the tournament. It was the third title for the Americans, who also won in 2004 and 2010.
Gibson (Whitehall) and Trocheck (Upper St. Clair) are two of four U.S. players with Western Pennsylvania ties. Riley Barber, a standout freshman at Miami of Ohio, spent part of his childhood in North Franklin Township and J.T. Miller is from Coraopolis.