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Torey Krug Earns Bronze with Team USA

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins - Torey Krug is coming back to Boston with new hardware from his first stint in the Red, White and Blue with Team USA.

Krug and the U.S. captured the bronze medal at the 2015 IIHF Men's World Championship on Sunday (May 17) with a 3-0 win over the Czech Republic.

The game took place at O2 Arena in Prague, with a home crowd backing the Czechs.

The win gave the U.S. its second medal in the last three world championships (bronze in 2013), marking the first time that feat had been achieved by the country since 1952.

Krug logged 19:58 in ice time en route to the victory and posted a plus-1 rating. His lone shot on goal came on the power play off a one-timer stopped by Czech goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. While the U.S. didn't score on the man-advantage, its momentum triggered a goal from Mass. native Charlie Coyle with just 49.8 remaining in the second period that provided an important three-goal cushion.

"This win means a lot to this group and USA Hockey,“ U.S. Men's National Team Head Coach Todd Richards (Head Coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets) told following the win. "I think before we came to this tournament, not a lot of people gave us a chance to win anything, so a huge amount of credit goes to the players."

The U.S. fell to Russia 4-0 in the semifinal round, despite a solid, committed effort before the game broken open. Canada topped Russia 6-1 on Sunday to claim gold.

Team USA's eight wins during the course of the 17-day tournament were the most of any U.S. team in a single men's world championship.

Krug finished with five points through 10 games off two power play goals and three assists, with a plus-1 rating. He fired 18 shots on goal and averaged 21:48 in ice time, logging the third most minutes on the team.

Tasked with leading the power play, serving a key role on the penalty kill and going up against top lines, Krug's 313 shifts were second on the team to his defense partner Justin Faulk (319).

The 24-year-old native of Livonia, Mich. was part of a young, speedy U.S. team that had an average age of 24.3 years.

"A lot of these guys had their first experience in international hockey,“ Richards told “We’ve been together for three weeks, that’s it, so what they accomplished here means a lot."

Earlier in the tournament, Krug had checked in via phone from the Czech Republic about his first experience with Team USA.

"We have a great group of young guys that bring a lot of energy and their skating legs," Krug had told "It provides that youthful energy for our team, much like at times we've seen in Boston this year."

"So it's just a good group of guys, the older guys as well that maybe have not played internationally before, but they have a lot of NHL experience and they bring that to the table, and what it's like when you're facing tough times and what it's like when you're winning hockey games, so it's a good group, good combination of those two things."

While Krug would much rather be playing for a different piece of hardware right now, with the conference finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs underway, the defenseman will no doubt come away with a positive experience wearing the Red, White and Blue - and carry that into the 2014-15 season in Black and Gold.

"It's very special to me," he had said. "This is the first time I've ever been able to wear these colors and I take a lot of pride. A lot of friends and family back home are proud of me and the situation that I've been blessed with and it's just been a great experience."

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