USA vs Sweden for the IIHF World Junior Gold Medal

I’m a huge hockey fan. HUGE! I’m stoked that Team USA is playing for the gold medal. I’ve been watching the entire tournament thanks to NHL Network.

Nothing has come easy for the United States and Sweden along the path to glory at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.

But perhaps the ultimate destination would not have become reality if simplicity reigned. As it stands, hard work and lessons learned have brought the teams together for the gold-medal game of the WJC for the first time in tournament history.

The countries will face off Saturday at 8 a.m. ET in Ufa Arena (NHLN-US, TSN). Sweden, the defending gold medalist, will look to become the first team since Canada (2005-2009) to win back-to-back gold medals.

The United States, meanwhile, is gunning for its second WJC championship in four years — the Americans won the 2010 tournament with a 6-5 overtime win against Canada in Saskatoon.

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– Eric