Team USA entered Thursday’s Bronze Medal Game against Sweden feeling a bit snake bitten. Wednesday night the Americans were involved in a highly emotional semifinal matchup with Canada. The game featured two very questionable goal reversals that completely tipped the game in the Canadian’s favor. On Thursday afternoon Team USA had to quickly put that game in the rear-view mirror and focus on the Swedes.
At the beginning of the game, it was clear that the Americans were feeling the effects of the emotional loss to Team Canada, and the 18-hour quick turnaround for this game.
The 2023 World Juniors bronze-medal game had it all. 15 goals were scored, multiple lead changes, and tons of sloppy defensive play.
At the end of it all, the United States walked away with a bronze medal, defeating Sweden 8-7 in overtime of a wild bronze-medal game in Halifax.
Chaz Lucius was the hero for the USA, as he completed his hat trick in the extra frame to get the USA back on the podium. It is the seventh bronze medal the country has won at the event
After a low-energy first period that saw the USA grab a 1-0 lead, the Americans and Swedes totaled nine goals in the middle frame. The United States blew leads of 2-0, 3-1, and 5-3 in the period, as the two clubs threw defense and structure aside for offense. The teams went into the third tied at 5-5.
Both teams scored once in the early goings of the third. Tied at 6-6 with under two minutes to go, Philadelphia Flyers prospect Cutter Gauthier was credited with a goal with 1:37 remaining in regulation to pull the USA ahead.
Sweden did not go down easily. The team pulled its goalie and Filip Bystedt tied the contest yet again with 22 seconds left, forcing extra time.
The Swedish comeback was all for naught, as Lucius scored the game-winner just over two minutes into OT.
This and That
In total, 11 American players got on the score sheet, with seven recording multi-point efforts in the win. Sweden had 13 skaters record at least one point, with four registering at least two points.
Cutter Gauthier finished his Junior International career with an outstanding tournament. 7 games played 4 goals, 6 assists, 10 points, 2 penalty minutes, and a plus 4.
Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.