Rick DiPietro stopped all 14 shots he faced to give the U.S. National Junior Team a 4-0 win over Switzerland and a fifth-place finish at the World Junior Championship in Moscow.
The U.S. finished the tournament with a 5-2-0 record, tying a team record for most wins at a World Junior Championship, equalling 1992 when Team USA took a bronze medal.
Providence’s Jon DiSalvatore scored in all but one game of the tournament, and finished with six goals and three assists, including the first goal in the win over Switzerland. Taking a 2-0 lead into the third, the U.S. dominated, outshooting Switzerland, 10-1. Minnesota’s Jeff Taffe set the tone early with a power-play goal just 11 seconds into the period, giving the U.S. a 3-0 lead. Notre Dame’s Rob Globke closed out the scoring with his goal at 12:37.
DiPietro, the former Boston University goalie, who left after his freshman year and was taken No. 1 overall by the New York Islanders in last year’s NHL Entry Draft, finished the tournament with a 5-1-0 record, a 1.33 goals against average and .930 save percentage. At last year’s tournament in Sweden, DiPietro was 2-2-1 with a 1.81 GAA and .935 save percentage and won the tournament’s outstanding goaltender honors.
Taffe finished the tournament with six goals and eight points. Michigan’s Andy Hilbert had three goals and eight points, while RPI’s Marc Cavosie had two goals and six points.
The Czech Republic ended up winning the gold for the second straight year, defeating Finland in the final game. Canada, which lost to Finland in the semifinal, won the bronze medal for the second straight year by defeating Sweden in the third-place game.
The U.S. was 3-1 in Group play, losing only to the Czech Republic. It then faced Canada in the quarterfinals, losing 2-1, before defeating Slovakia, 3-2, in a loser’s bracket game. Boston College’s Justin Forrest, DiSalvatore and Taffe scored goals in that game.
Last year, the U.S. lost to Canada in the bronze medal game, 4-3, in a shootout. In 1997, the Americans lost the gold-medal game to Canada, taking the silver, its best ever finish. That marked Canada’s fifth straight gold medal, though it hasn’t won since.