World Juniors: Team USA, Nick Schmaltz crush Sweden 8-3 to win bronze medal
Team USA makes podium for first time since 2013.
Matthew Tkachuck scored two goals and added an assist to lead Team USA to a 8-3 win over Sweden to capture the bronze medal at the 2016 World Junior Championship on Tuesday at Hartwall Arena.
It is the first podium appearance for the Americans since they won the 2013 tournament in Russia. For Sweden, it is the second straight year they have fallen in the bronze-medal game; 4-2 loss to Slovakia in 2015.
Andres Bjork and Ryan Danto each scored two goals, while Chicago Blackhawks prospect Nick Schmaltz added three assists. Schmaltz led all Hawks prospects with two goals and six assists.
Christian Dvorak, a Palos, Ill. native, added two assists and Brandon Boeser also scored. Zach Werenski, William Borgen, Sonny Milano, Ryan Hitchcock and Ryan MacInnis each chipped in an assist.
Tkahuck and Auston Matthews led the Americans during the tournament with 11 points. Matthews was shutout for the second straight game after recording a hat trick in a 10-1 quarterfinal win over Switzerland. His seven tournament goals falls one shy of tying Jeremy Roenick's 1998 record.
William Lagesson, Carl Grundstrom and Axel Holmstrom each scored for Sweden in the first period before the Americans responded with six unanswered goals until Holmstrom late goal in the third. Adrian Kempe, Joel Eriksson Ek and Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson picked up assists. Hawks prospect Gustav Forsling was held off the scoresheet and finished the tournament with two power play goals and an assist.
American goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic finished the tournament with a .942 save percentage, ranking him third among U.S. net minders in tournament history behind John Gibson and Al Montoya.