2023 IIHF World Junior Championship

2023 World Juniors: USA Beats Sweden In Wild Bronze-Medal Game

2023 World Juniors: USA Beats Sweden In Wild Bronze-Medal Game

A wild bronze-medal game featured a nine-goal second period as Sweden climbed back from multiple deficits, but USA won it in overtime.

Jan 5, 2023 by Chris Peters
2023 World Juniors: USA Beats Sweden In Wild Bronze-Medal Game

Click here for photos from Team USA's bronze-medal win

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- In one of the wildest World Junior Championship games in recent memory, which included a nine-goal second period, Sweden overcoming multiple deficits including in the last 21 seconds of regulation, the United States managed to pull out an 8-7 victory in overtime to claim the bronze medal.

Chaz Lucius (WPG) scored 2:06 into the extra frame on a net-front backhand that found the inside of the post to secure the bronze medal after the bitter disappointment of losing to Canada the night before.

The Americans got the scoring started early in the game as Logan Cooley (ARI) finished a centering feed from Jimmy Snuggerud (STL), who forced a turnover with a good forecheck. That turned out to be the only goal of the period, but certainly not the only fireworks.

Swedish forward Fabian Lysell (BOS) was assessed a match penalty for an illegal check to the head on Kenny Connors (LAK). Lysell was kicked out of the game, ending his tournament a few periods early.

The second period is where things really opened up, with the teams trading a total of nine goals before finishing the middle frame 5-5.

Team USA had leads of 2-0, 3-1 and 5-3 at various points of the period, but each time Sweden climbed back in and managed to even the game three times. Sweden scored two goals in the final 1:08 of the period, the last of which came with 42 seconds remaining when Swedish forward Liam Ohgren (MIN) picked off a pass by goalie Trey Augustine (2023) and put the puck in the wide-open net.

The U.S. made a goalie switch at the start of the third period, returning to veteran Kaidan Mbereko, who was the starter at the 2022 World Juniors.

Just four minutes into the third period, Noah Ostlund (BUF) scored on a turnaround shot that beat Mbereko over the shoulder to give Sweden its first lead of the game.

The U.S. answered after being on their heels as captain Luke Hughes (NJD) scored an incredible goal spinning away from the defender and letting the shot go from his knees to beat Carl Lindbom (VGK) between the legs. 

With 21.4 seconds remaining, Sweden tied the game for the fourth time when Filip Bystedt (SJS) had a puck skid right to him on the back door for an open look and he did not mix. The crowd of more than 9,000 spectators erupted in favor of Sweden.

That set the stage for overtime where defenseman Lane Hutson (MTL) made a play to get to the net. Lindbom made the initial save, but Lucius was there to finish off a hat trick and secure USA's fifth medal in seven years at the World Juniors.