Two Pittsburgh area players who spent time in the Pittsburgh Hornets Midget Major program helped the USA national team earn their second straight gold medal at the World Under-18 Hockey Championships in Belarus following a 3-1 victory over Sweden in Friday’s championship game.
Forward Brandon Saad (Gibsonia), defenseman Stephen Johns (Wampum) and the rest of the Americans avenged their only loss of the preliminary round (4-2) to pick up Team USA’s fifth gold medal at the Under-18 tournament.
The 6-foot-1, 196 pound Saad finished with three goals and three assists in seven games.
The 6-3, 215-pound Johns, serving as an alternate captain, had three assists and a plus-2 rating in seven games.
Johns is eligible for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft in June and is rated by some scouts as a potential first-round NHL draft pick. Saad will be eligible for the 2011 draft.
Both Saad and Johns spent the season with the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 team in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Showing the increasing impact of Pittsburgh amateur hockey, three other Pittsburgh area players – J.T. Miller (Moon), John Gibson (Whitehall) and Barrett Keib (Upper St. Clair) – were members of the USA national team that won the World Under-17 Challenge in December.
For more information, please visit www.usahockey.com