Team USA, with the help of three local products, rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the championship game to defeat Sweden, 4-3 in overtime, to capture the 2011 World Under-18 Championship – the United States’ third straight gold medal in this event – in Crimmitschau, Germany.
Team USA finished the tournament with a perfect 6-0 record.
Leading the way for the U.S. was netminder John Gibson (Whitehall, Pa.), who denied 28 of 31 shots in the championship game. Gibson was named the tournament’s best goaltender after posting a 6-0 record, 2.34 goals-against average and .926 save percentage.
Forward J.T. Miller (Moon, Pa.) contributed two assists against the Swedes to finish with a team-high 13 points (4G-9A). Miller, who along with Gibson was chosen as one of Team USA’s top-three players by the tournament coaches, finished tied for third in overall tournament scoring.
Defenseman Barrett Kaib (Upper St. Clair) was a valuable member of Team USA’s defensive corps, notching two assists and finishing with a plus-7 rating that tied for the team lead among defensemen.
Gibson, Miller and Kaib are all former members of the Pittsburgh Hornets elite travel program.
All three have committed to top NCAA Division I programs for next season – Gibson at Michigan, Miller at North Dakota and Kaib at Providence.
From left to right: J.T. Miller, John Gibson and Barrett Kaib.