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Keller Wins Gold, Strome Gets Silver at WJC

Coyotes prospects Clayton Keller & Dylan Strome earned medals at elite tournament

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

Coyotes prospect Clayton Keller and his Team USA teammates won the gold medal game at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship on Thursday night in dramatic fashion.

The Americans rallied from 2-0 and 4-2 deficits to win the championship game, 5-4, in a memorable shootout in front of a sellout crowd at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

Only Troy Terry of Team USA scored a goal in the five-round shootout.

"He's unbelievable," Keller told reporters. "He's my roommate here. He's a guy that doesn't get nervous. He just has ice in his veins and he came up clutch for us again."

Keller played 22:13 in the title game and assisted on Team USA's fourth goal. He finished the tournament with a team-high 11 points (three goals, eight assists). Only two other players - Kirill Kaprisov of Russia (12) and Sweden's Alexander Nylander (12) - produced more points in the prestigious tournament. 

The Coyotes drafted Keller seventh overall in 2016. With gold medal in hand, Keller will return to Boston University to finish the season.

Tweet from @ClaytonKeller37: World champs ���� pic.twitter.com/oXOXbe49qu

Meanwhile, Dylan Strome and Team Canada settled for silver medals. 

"We kind of let them get back into the game too easily," Strome, the captain of Team Canada, told reporters. "It's a tough feeling. It's frustrating having it end in a shootout but that's kind of the way it goes. The crowd was great. It was one of the coolest games I've ever played in."

Strome played 21:54 and took three shots on goal in the gold medal game. Like Keller, he failed to score in the shootout.

Strome, whom Arizona drafted third overall in 2015, co-led Canada with 10 points (three goals, seven assists), and he was the tournament's fourth-best face-off man with a 66 percent success rate. He will return to the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League for the rest of the season.

Tweet from @stromer19: Proud to be Canadian. Made 21 new brothers, love all of you.

• Coyotes prospect Jens Looke played 11:33 and took two shots on goal for Sweden in its 2-1 overtime loss to Russia in the bronze medal game. Looke finished the tournament with one goal and one assist. The Coyotes drafted Looke 83rd overall in 2015 and hope to sign him soon.

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