World Championship Update: Josi Claims Silver and Tournament MVP; Smith and Butler Take Home Bronze
It was championship Sunday in Stockholm as host Sweden took the ice against Switzerland in the gold medal game.
In the gold medal tilt, the undefeated Swiss looked to continue their 2013 success after scoring first, but Sweden dominated the final 55 minutes to defeat the Swiss in front of the home crowd, 5-1. Tre Kronor became the first home team to win World Championship gold since 1986. Nashville blueliner Roman Josi tallied the only goal for the Swiss just 4:45 into the contest before the Swedes responded with five unanswered goals. Today’s silver medal was just the second silver medal for the Swiss after finishing runner-up in 1935, their highest finish at any IIHF international hockey event.
Josi posted nine points (4g-5a) in 10 games to finish as the tournament's Most Valuable Player, Best Defenseman and as a member of the 2013 All Star team. The Bern native becomes the first Swiss player to earn MVP honors at an IIHF tournament.
Prior to the gold medal game, the United States, who fell to Switzerland in the semifinals on Saturday, squared off against co-host Finland in the bronze medal game. Nashville forward Craig Smith opened the scoring for the Americans, who jumped out to a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. The Finns battled back on a two-goal effort from Phoenix’s Lauri Korpikoski to force overtime. After a scoreless overtime period, Montreal Canadiens rookie Alex Galchenyuk potted two goals in the breakaway competition to secure the bronze for the U.S. The bronze was the first World Championship medal win for the American’s since 2004. Smith, who posted a multi-point effort (1g-1a) in the finale, finished third among all tournament skaters with 14 points (4g-10a) in 10 games. Fellow Preds forward Bobby Butler took the ice in eight games for the U.S. and finished with four points (3g-1a).