In a game that saw potential future Canadiens teammates Alexander Galchenyuk and Sebastian Collberg face each other for the 2013 World Junior Hockey championship, it was Galchenyuk who took home the gold as the United States edged Sweden 3-1. Collberg, who was the Canadiens 2012 second round draft pick (33rd overall), will settle for the silver.
Although he was kept off the score sheet in the latter stages of the tournament, Galchenyuk still managed 2 goals and 6 assists in seven games. He had two shots on goal in the championship game.
Collberg shared the Swedish team scoring lead with 4 goals and 2 assists in six games. He didn’t get a point in the final game but registered 3 shots on goal.
Sweden won the gold medal in 2012. It was the 12 straight time the USA has beaten Sweden in the tournament dating back to 1996, a streak that includes 11 losses and a tie.
It is just the third World Junior title for the U.S. They previously defeated Canada in the final in Helsinki (2004) and Saskatoon (2010). This was the first time the Americans faced an opponent other than Canada in a gold medal game. They defeated Canada in the final in Helsinki (2004) and Saskatoon (2010). They lost to them in 1997.
This was a somewhat surprising gold medal game matchup. Most predicted that Canada and Russia would be the finalists. In the round robin section of the tournament the USA lost to both Canada and Russia by identical 2-1 scores. the US then knocked off Canada 5-1 in the semi-final. Canada then lost to Russia 6-5 in overtime in the bronze medal game.