U.S. Blanks Russia For Gold At Under-18 World Championship

Five different players scored to propel the U.S. Under-18 Team to a 5-0 victory over Russia to win its record fourth gold medal at the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation World Under-18 Championship Sunday.

The U.S. finished the tournament 6-0-0-1, and captured the first world title for a U.S. hockey team on home soil since the 1980 Olympic Winter Games.

“Tonight was a culmination of two years of hard work for many of our players,” said Ron Rolston, head coach of Team USA. “They sacrificed for each other and they became a family. They had the focus, determination and persevered, which is what the National Team Development Program is all about. There is no better way to end the season and I am really happy for our players.”

Before a record crowd of 4,923 at the Urban Plains Center, Team USA struck early when Cam Fowler put a wrist shot into the lower right corner of the net through a screen just 2:09 into the game. Matthew Nieto doubled the U.S. advantage after he streaked towards the goal and one-touched Kevin Lynch’s feather pass inside the left post at 9:27.

Just 1:55 into the second period, William Wrenn one-timed Drew Shore’s pass from the middle slot into the lower left corner for a power-play goal, making it 3-0.

Chris Brown extended the lead to 4-0 when he took Shore’s drop pass and wired a wrist shot over the right shoulder of netminder Igor Bobkov 2:29 into the third period. Just 1:10 later, Nick Mattson fed Ryan Bourque who sniped a shot into the upper left corner to ice the 5-0 victory.

Netminder Jack Campbell made 17 saves to earn his second shutout at the championship.

Notes: Fowler was named Team USA’s player of the game. Additionally, Fowler earned the directorate award as the tournament’s best defenseman. Fowler, Campbell and Jerry D’Amigo were named to the tournament all-star team … Campbell led all goaltenders with a 0.75 goals-against average and .967 save percentage … D’Amigo led the U.S. with 13 points, while Jeremy Morin (6-4–10) and Lynch (5-5–10) each had 10 points … Fowler led all U.S. blueliners with eight points (1-7) … Team USA now owns seven medals at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship and has earned a medal in each of the last six years, which is unprecedented … Team USA surpassed Russia with its fourth gold medal. … The 2009 IIHF World Under-18 Championship represented the first time the event was held in the United States … The U.S. National Under-18 Team won all three international tournaments it entered in 2008-09, losing just once. The U.S. captured the tournament title at the 2008 Men’s Under-18 Four Nations Cup and 2009 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament.

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