23 Alums Medal at World Championship
Former Northern Michigan star Erik Gustaffson scored Sweden's first goal in the gold medal game at the IIHF World Championship Sunday and helped lift the Swedes to the championship in front of their fans in Stockholm.
Gustafsson, a two-time CCHA Best Offensive Defenseman at NMU, scored at 8:42 of the first period to tie the score, 1-1, again st Switzerland. Sweden never loked back and won gold, 5-1.
Earlier in the day 22 other former college players claimed bronze medals as members of the United States team that defeated Finland, 3-2 in a shootout. It marked the first medal for the U.S. at the World Championship since 2004 and only the third since 1963.
Two WCHA alums - Paul Stastny (Denver) and Craig Smith (Wisconsin) - formed a dangerous combination for the Americans, with Stastny finishing second in tournament scoring with 15 points and Smith trailing by just one, with 14.
Stastny was named to the All-Tournament team by the media, while Stastny, Smith and former Minnesota Duluth national champion Justin Faulk were named Team USA's three best players of the tournament.
In all, 22 of the 25 Americans in the tournament were former college players, and they were led by former BU star Joe Sacco as head coach. The team's top eight scorers were all former college players, and 32 of the team's 35 goals were scored by NCAA alums.
Four players on Team USA played college hockey this season: Nick Bjugstad, Danny Kristo, Drew LeBlanc and Jacob Trouba.
|College Players Who Medaled at the World Champ.|
|Gold||D||Erik Gustafsson||Northern Michigan|
|Bronze||G||Cal Heeter||Ohio State|
|Bronze||D||Justin Faulk||Minnesota Duluth|
|Bronze||D||Jeff Petry||Michigan State|
|Bronze||F||Bobby Butler||New Hampshire|
|Bronze||F||Ryan Carter||Minnesota State|
|Bronze||F||Stephen Gionta||Boston College|
|Bronze||F||Danny Kristo*||North Dakota|
|Bronze||F||Drew LeBlanc*||St. Cloud State|
|Bronze||F||T.J. Oshie||North Dakota|
|Bronze||F||Tim Stapleton||Minnesota Duluth|
|* Played in NCAA this season|