Bronze many not have been the color Team USA was hoping for after upsetting the Russians to get to the medal round. However, after being shut out by the upstart team from Switzerland 3-0 yesterday, the Americans faced off against the other semi-final loser, Finland. Team USA edged out the Finns 3-2 in a shootout. The Finns shared the host country duties with Sweden in this year’s 2013 World Championships. Sweden and Switzerland will face each other in the gold-medal game.
For New Jersey Devils, Stephen Gionta and Ryan Carter, it was an opportunity to help the Americans bring home their first medal since 2004 when they won a bronze as well. In all, the United States has won four bronze medals since last bringing home gold in 1960 in Squaw Valley, California. The US also came in third in 1962 and 1996.
Even though they came up short, it was a great run for the US team who also knocked off the defending World Champions earlier this week. The eight goals they scored against the Russians were the most the team had given up in either a World Championship or an Olympic competition.
Gionta finished the tournament with three goals in 10 games and was tied for the most shots in the bronze medal win with Paul Stastny of the Colorado Avalanche. Both men registered four shots on Antti Raanta of Finland.
Carter scored a shorthanded goal and also had an assist for Team USA in the huge win against the Russians.
“We’re a young team and we have a few guys who don’t have any pro experience coming into this.” Matt Carle of the Tampa Bay Lightning explained in an interview for the International Ice Hockey Federation’s website. “We got better as the tournament went along and got into a good position in our group. This is a good consolation.”
It is also a nice ending for Gionta’s inaugural season in the NHL.