BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Trent Frederic scored four times in leading the United States to a 9-3 victory over the Czech Republic in the world junior championship bronze-medal game Friday.
Kieffer Bellows scored twice, including once on a penalty shot, and added an assist. U.S. captain Joey Anderson and Patrick Harper had a goal and assist each, and Ryan Poehling also scored.
Jake Oettinger finished with 28 saves, and stopped the first 13 shots he faced before giving up two goals on three shots in the first 2:11 of the third period.
The defending champion Americans bounced back from a 4-2 loss to Sweden in the semifinal a day earlier, to earn a medal for a third straight year to mark the nation’s longest streak since in tournament history. The U.S. also finished third in 2016.
Team USA upped its medal total to 11 (four gold, one silver and six bronze), with two of the third-place finishes coming in Buffalo, where the tournament was also held in 2010-11.
Radovan Pavlik had a goal and assist, and Martin Kaut Daniel Kurovsky also scored for the Czech Republic. Despite the loss, the fourth-place finish was the nation’s best since winning bronze in 2005.
Goalie Josef Korenar allowed three goals 16 shots before being pulled after Brady Tkachuk’s centering pass banked in off Anderson’s skate 4:18 into the second period. Korenar then returned for the start of the third period and stopped nine more shots after backup Jakub Skarek allowed four goals on 12 shots.
Sweden faced 16-time champion Canada in the gold-medal game Friday night.
A St. Louis native, Frederic plays at Wisconsin and was selected by the Boston Bruins in the first-round of the 2016 draft. His four goals were one short of matching a U.S. single-game record at the world juniors. Wally Chapman scored five times against Switzerland in 1984 and Chris Bourque had five against Norway in 2005.
The Americans took control by building a 2-0 lead after Frederic and Poehling scored short-handed goals 13-seconds apart spanning the first intermission. Frederic opened the scoring by stripping the puck from Martin Kaut at the U.S. blue line and then beat Korenar through the legs on a breakaway with 4 seconds left in the first period.
Off the second-period-opening faceoff, U.S. defenseman Scott Perunovich fired the puck into the Czech Republic zone, where Anderson stripped the puck from Martin Necas behind the net. Anderson came around the left side and fed Poehling alone in front.
The Americans’ special teams bounced back a day after giving up a pair of short-handed goals over a 38-second span in the third period against Sweden.
Bellows made it 5-0 by scoring on a penalty shot in which he drove in off the left wing, cut across the front of the crease before beating Skarek inside the left post. Bellows then scored his tournament-leading ninth goal with 59 seconds left in the second period to put the U.S. up 7-0.
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