Powered by two goals from Rocco Grimaldi, Team USA completed a big comeback and defeated Team Sweden 3-1 to win the gold medal at the 2013 WJC.
The Swedes played a very pesky game but a couple of soft second-period goals given up by their goaltender, Niklas Lundstrom, had them playing from behind for the last half of the game. In the other net, Anaheim Ducks draftee John Gibson was the backbone for Team USA. He posted lights-out numbers in goal for the Americans and came up big in key situations during each of their competitive games, earning the award for best goaltender of the 2013 WJC.
Nashville prospect Jimmy Vesey played on the top line again. His line was held scoreless this game, but it also kept the Swedes’ top line without any points. NHL Network analyst E.J. Hradek pointed out coach Phil Housley’s decision to move Nashville prospect Jimmy Vesey to the top line as one of the turning points for Team USA in this tournament. In his three games alongside J.T. Miller and Johnny Gaudreau, Vesey put up 5 points (1G-4A).
Jimmy Vesey becomes the fifth player in the Nashville Predators system with a WJC gold medal on his resume, joining the likes of Shea Weber, Martin Erat, Matt Halischuk, and Ryan Ellis. Now that conquering the world has been marked off his to-do list, it’s back to conquering the Ivy League at Harvard University for Vesey. The Crimson will be glad to get him back on the roster: while he’s been playing in Russia, they’ve returned to the ice and lost two games to Northeastern and Princeton. Vesey should be back in time for next Wednesday’s game against Boston University.
As for all of us hockey fans here in Nashville, it’s back to waiting for the NHL to get its act together and make a season happen now that the 2013 WJC is over. Here’s hoping it’s not too long before we’re watching live hockey again on a regular basis!