Winning four straight gold medals at any high-level competition is a difficult undertaking, but Team USA had done just that heading into the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship in Sochi, Russia. But winning “one for the thumb”, so to speak, proved to be a challenge just out of the reach of the American squad as they were defeated by Canada in the U18 gold medal game, 3-2.
To look at the shots on goal in this game, a lopsided 35-12 in favor of the USA, one would assume that the Americans would have handily beaten their neighbors to the north. But, thanks to the clutch goaltending of Canada's Philippe Desrosiers and some timely scoring from Laurent Dauphin, Madison Bowey and Frederik Gauthier, the Canadians were able to pull out the nail-biting win.
The player that opened the scoring for Team USA, Connor Clifton, seemingly picked the right time to score his only goal of the tournament as it helped to swing some momentum to his team. But in the end, it was all for naught as Clifton and his U.S. teammates would have to settle for silver for the third time in the last 10 U18 tournaments.
Clifton spoke with the media about the disappointment of losing the gold medal game in this Hockey's Future video.
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