Team USA today won the world junior hockey championship for the second time in four years.
And it earned that title -- clinched with a 3-1 victory against Sweden in the gold medal game today in Ufa, Russia -- in large part because of contributions by players from the Pittsburgh area.
Team USA's roster included no fewer than four players from Western Pennsylvania: Goalie John Gibson (Whitehall) and forwards J.T. Miller (Coraopolis), Vincent Trocheck (Upper St. Clair) and Riley Barber (Washington).
Gibson, an Anaheim Ducks prospect, was honored as the most valuable player and top goaltender in the tournament. And he showed why throughout the championship game, stopping 26 of 27 shots.
Other members of the all-tournament team were U.S. defensemen Jacob Trouba and Jake McCabe and forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Canada), John Gaudreau (U.S.) and Filip Forsberg (Sweden).
Filip Sandberg gave Sweden a 1-0 lead at 1:09 of the second period when he threw a shot past Gibson's glove during a power play, but Rocco Grimaldi --- who hit two posts during the opening period -- tied the game at 7:42.
Grimaldi then put the U.S. up, 2-1, at 10:27, when he deflected a Jacob Trouba shot out of the air and into the net.
Gibson was seriously tested several times during the third, but Sweden couldn't break through.
Trocheck sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with 16 seconds left in regulation.
The U.S. also won the 2010 tournament, played in Regina and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
The Penguins have expressed a strong interest in staging a world junior championship in Pittsburgh with Consol Energy Center as the primary venue.
Dave Molinari: email@example.com and on Twitter: @molinaripg.