BUFFALO -- Trent Frederic scored four goals to help the United States to a 9-3 win against the Czech Republic in the bronze medal game of the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship at KeyBank Center on Friday.
[RELATED: Complete World Juniors Championship coverage]]
"Our players wanted to leave here on a positive note since this is the last time they're going to wear that jersey for this team and I'm very proud of the effort they put in to get it done," U.S. coach Bob Motzko said.
Frederic (Boston Bruins) scored once in the first period, twice in the second and once in the third.
Video: Highlights from the Czech Republic vs. USA matchup
"Anytime you can put the puck in the net it's a good time," Frederic said. "It was a tough loss (4-2 to Sweden in the semifinals) yesterday but we responded. You want to sit in your room and feel sad, but you still have another game and want to win a medal and that's what we did."
Frederic is the first American to score a hat trick in a WJC game since Auston Matthews, now of the Toronto Maple Leafs, in a 7-0 win against the Czech Republic in the 2016 quarterfinals Jan. 2, 2016. He fell one short of tying the U.S. record for most goals in a WJC game, set by Wally Chapman in 1984 against Switzerland and matched by Chris Bourque in 2006 against Norway.
Kieffer Bellows (New York Islanders) scored twice, including a penalty shot, to set a U.S. record at a single WJC with nine goals. Jeremy Roenick set the previous record of eight in 1989.
"He was such an elite player during his time, he's always going to be a legend," Bellow said. "It's a huge honor, but without my teammates it wouldn't have happened."
Bellows, tied for third among Americans with 11 career WJC goals, also scored the shootout winner in a 4-3 victory against Canada outdoors at New Era Field on Dec. 29.
Video: Reacting to USA's win over the Czech Republic
"This sets the stage for next year, for those guys that are going to be returning," Bellows said. "It shows them how hard this tourney can be. There's so many elite players around the world so it's a huge honor to get a bronze medal. Obviously not the one we wanted, but it's a huge honor for USA Hockey."
Joey Anderson (New Jersey Devils), Ryan Poehling (Montreal Canadiens) and Patrick Harper (Nashville Predators) scored for the United States, which won a WJC medal for the third straight year for the first time. The Americans won gold in 2017 and bronze in 2016.
Jake Oettinger (Dallas Stars) made 28 saves on 31 shots, and Jeremy Swayman (Bruins), who entered the game with 3:19 left in the third, made four saves. The United States, which won its sixth WJC bronze medal, has medaled in six of the past nine tournaments.
"It's not gold but a medal is awesome and it's hard to medal at this tournament and I know our group, we take a lot of pride in that and we worked hard for that so that's something we can be proud of," Anderson said.
Frederic scored shorthanded with 3.4 seconds left in the first period to make it 1-0, and Poehling scored shorthanded on the same penalty nine seconds into the second to make it 2-0. The two shorthanded goals came less than 24 hours after the United States allowed two shorthanded goals on the same penalty in a 4-2 loss against Sweden in the semifinals.
Video: Severino and Starman on Frederic, USA winning bronze
"These medals are very difficult to win," Motzko said. "USA Hockey is in a great spot. The players that are coming up in the future, there's expectations now but they're not climbing a mountain. The people before us did that, so we're in a great spot and those expectations will remain strong for us."
Martin Kaut (2018 NHL Draft eligible), Radovan Pavlik and Daniel Kurovsky scored in the third period for the Czech Republic, whose fourth-place finish was its best in the WJC since winning the bronze medal in 2005.
"It was good, but we want to be better," said forward Filip Zadina (2018 eligible), who led the Czech Republic with seven goals. "We weren't and we lost a tough game. We played not good and there's a reason why we lost."