Rocco Grimaldi netted two goals powering the United States to a 3-1 win over Sweden in the World Junior Championships Finals in Ufa, Russia. The win means gold medals for the USA and a banner day for Florida Panthers prospects.
Grimaldi was held without a goal through the entire tournament and was unfortunate to hit two posts in the championship games opening period. All that disappointment was erased when he erupted for two goals in the second period. The first came from a bad angle after shaking his defender behind the net and getting a shot off from just above the goal line. Shortly thereafter Grimaldi found himself in front of the net in perfect position to deflect in a point shot from teammate Jacob Trouba. The pair of goals gave the US a 2-1 lead after the fell behind early in the second period 1-0 on a goal from Sweden’s Filip Sandberg. (Source) The United States goaltender John Gibson kept the lead late stopping 26 out of the 27 shots he faced. His performance throughout the tournament earned him Tournament MVP and Best Goaltender honors in addition to a spot on the Tournament All-Star Team. (Source) Fellow United States teammate and Panthers prospect Vincent Trocheck played a large role in the game as well, assisting on Grimaldi’s first goal and adding an empty net goal in the third to ice the game.
In the tournament semifinal, Canada was downed by Russia 6-5 in overtime. Panthers 2011 first round pick Jonathan Huberdeau score a goal and also added an assist in what was a disappointing loss for team Canada ending their steak of medaling in 14 straight World Junior Tournaments. (Source)