Kreider scores two as USA wins bronze
Rangers prospects among first Americans to medal in back-to-back years
• VIDEO: Kreider Postgame Interview
• VIDEO: Bourque Postgame Interview
• Prospects Making Rangers Scouts Proud
Rangers prospects Chris Kreider, Ryan Bourque, and Jesper Fasth all played major roles in the 2011 World Junior Championship bronze-medal game at Buffalo, N.Y., on Wednesday afternoon, but in the end only Kreider and Bourque were able to leave HSBC Arena with hardware.
Kreider scored two goals, and Bourque had an assist as the Americans held off Fasth's Swedish team 4-2 to become the first U.S. squad to win back-to-back medals at the World Junior Championship tournament and the first to win a World Junior medal on U.S. soil.
The Americans outshot Sweden 44-36 for the game. Kreider had four shots and was plus-1 for the game, while Bourque had two shots.
|Rangers 2009 first-round draft pick Chris Kreider scores a power-play goal in the second period to pull Team USA into a 1-1 tie with Sweden in the bronze-medal game on Wednesday at Buffalo, N.Y.|
Kreider, honored as Team USA's Player of the Game, scored the first and last goals for the Americans. His second goal put an exclamation point on the win, as he capped off a 2-on-1 with Kyle Palmieri at 18:07 of the third period to put the game out of reach.
Earlier, with Kreider on the ice at even strength, his linemate Drew Shore deflected in a Justin Faulk shot from the right point for a 2-1 lead just 52 seconds into the third. The Americans held that lead for the rest of the way.
Team USA got the eventual game-winning goal, and made it a 3-1 game, when Nick Bjugstad redirected a Nick Leddy shot into the net at 11:39 of the third. Bourque picked up the second assist on linemate Bjugstad's even-strength goal. The assist was Bourque's third of the tournament.
Fasth, who plays for Jonkoping HV-71 in the Swedish Elite League, then scored a remarkable goal when he backhanded in his own rebound to cut the lead to 3-2 at 14:18 of the third period.
Left all alone in front of the U.S. goal, the 19-year-old Fasth picked up the rebound of a shot by Johan Larsson, but was stopped by USA goalie Jack Campbell. As a defenseman attempted to cover him, Fasth scooped up his own rebound and sent it in with a high backhand.
Kreider made Fasth's goal irrelevant, however, when he notched his second of the game on the late 2-on-1.
He also scored the first U.S. goal on a power play at 13:32 of the second period. Stationed at the base of the left faceoff circle just to the right of goaltender Fredrik Pettersson Wentzel, Kreider rifled home a Chris Brown pass that came out from behind the net.
|Rangers prospects Jesper Fasth, left, receives hugs and congratulations from Swedish teammates after scoring a remarkable goal to cut Team USA's lead to 3-2 at 14:18 of the third period on Wednesday.|
With his 10th goal, Kreider entered the upper echelons of USA career goal-scoring at the tournament. He stands tied for third all-time among Americans who have competed at the World Juniors.
Kreider's 10 career goals are just three behind Jeremy Roenick's Team USA record of 13, one behind Brian Gionta's 11 goals, and land him in a tie with an impressive group of American players that includes NHL stars John LeClair and Mike Modano.
The first Kreider goal came with 50 seconds left in a Swedish penalty that was drawn by Bourque's line on the shift immediately after Sweden's Oscar Lindberg scored the game's first goal.
Lindberg got that Swedish goal at 11:58 of the second period, sliding a backhand shot underneath a sprawling Campbell. That was the only lead the Swedes would see, lasting all of 94 seconds.
Team USA finished the tournament with a record of 5-1-0. The Americans' only loss came against Canada in the semifinals on Monday. The Canadians fell to Russia with a stunning collapse on Wednesday night -- allowing five third-period goals in a 5-3 loss that gave Russia the gold medal and Canada the silver.
In their two trips to the World Juniors, Kreider and Bourque were teammates for 13 USA games. They went 11-1-1 in those games with the only losses coming against Canada.