Jan. 5, 2013
UFA, Russia -
With a 3-1 victory over Sweden on Saturday morning (Jan. 5) in the championship game of the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship, Team USA and Friar freshman goalie Jon Gillies (South Portland, Maine) earned the gold medal. Gillies, the 11th Friar to appear in the World Juniors, becomes the first Friar to claim a medal in the prestigious international under-20 tournament.
Gillies served as John Gibson's primary backup throughout the tournament and will be eligible to play for the U.S. squad at next year's World Junior Championship, which is slated to take place in Malmo, Sweden. Gibson was named the Most Valuable Player at this year's tournament as the U.S. won gold for just the third time (2004 and 2010).
Gillies was one of three goalies named to the U.S. World Junior team following a training camp from Dec. 16-24 and he was one of two Hockey East players who made the final squad, joining Boston College forward John Gaudreau.
Current Denver University assistant coach and 1984 graduate of Providence College David Lassonde was also part of the gold-medal winning effort as he assisted Head Coach Phil Housley at the tournament.
The other former Friars to play in the World Junior Championships include Perry Florio (1985), Tom Fitzgerald (1987), Shaun Kane (1989 & 1990), Mike Boback (1990), Rob Gaudreau (1990), Mike Heinke (1991), Brady Kramer (1993), Jay Leach (1998), Jon DiSalvatore (2001) and Bobby Goepfert (2003).
The 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship began play in Ufa, Russia, on Dec. 26, 2012. In their first game, Gillies and Team USA downed Germany, 8-0, on Dec. 27. Gillies played the third period and stopped all seven shots he faced in the tournament-opening win. The U.S. then lost to Russia (2-1 on Dec. 28) and Canada (2-1 on Dec. 30) before beating Slovakia on Dec. 31 (9-3) to advance to the quarterfinals. Gillies dressed as John Gibson's backup for each of those games as well.
In the quarterfinals, the U.S. downed the Czech Republic, 7-0 (Jan. 2) with Gillies again dressing as the backup. The U.S. then booked a place in the gold medal game with a 5-1 win over Canada on Thursday (Jan. 3) morning. Sweden punched its ticket to the final with a 3-2 shootout win over the hosts from Russia on Thursday.
Gillies' Friar teammates conclude their weekend series at No. 14 Minnesota State tonight (Jan. 5) at 8:07 (EST) at the Mavericks' Verizon Wireless Center.