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Cecconi, USA take home gold at World Juniors

Gurianov's overtime goal lifts Russia to bronze medal

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Stars defense prospect Joe Cecconi and Team USA took home the gold medal at the World Junior Championship Thursday night in Montreal, overcoming 2-0 and 4-2 deficits to defeat Canada, 5-4, in a shootout. And Stars forward prospect Denis Gurianov scored the game-winner in overtime as Russia defeated Sweden, 2-1, for the bronze medal. Here's an update on Dallas prospects playing at the World Juniors.

Defenseman Joe Cecconi (United States): Cecconi had no points, one shot on goal and an even rating in the USA's 5-4 shootout win over Canada in Thursday's gold medal game. Cecconi was big on the penalty kill for the USA and his 25:58 of ice time in the game was third highest among USA players. Cecconi, a fifth-round pick in 2015, finished the tournament with two assists and a plus-one rating in seven games.

Cecconi Stats (USA): | 7 GP | 0 G | 2 A | 2 PTS | +1 | 0 PIM | 15:07 ATOI

Forward Denis Gurianov (Russia): Gurianov scored the game-winner in overtime as Russia defeated Sweden, 2-1, in overtime to take the bronze medal Thursday. After a bad exchange between two Swedish players at Sweden's blue line, Gurianov jumped on the puck, drove to the net and scored on a backhand shot 33 seconds into the ten-minute extra period to give Russia its seventh straight medal at the World Juniors. Gurianov played 20:52 in Thursday's game and had four shots on goal. Gurianov, a first-round pick in 2015, finished the tournament with seven points (four goals, three assists) and a plus-three rating in seven games, ranking second on Russia in goals and tying for second in points.

Gurianov Stats (Russia): | 7 GP | 4 G | 3 A | 7 PTS | +3 | 2 PIM | 17:18 ATOI

Forward Fredrik Karlstrom (Sweden): Karlstrom had no points, three shots on goal and a plus-one rating for Sweden in its 2-1 overtime loss to Russia in the bronze medal game. Karlstrom, who played on the second line, had a couple of good scoring chances and played 13:36. Karlstrom, a third-round pick in 2016, finished the tournament with three points (one goal, two assists) and a plus-four rating in seven games.

Karlstrom Stats (Sweden): | 7 GP | 1 G | 2 A | 3 PTS | +4 | 0 PIM | 8:09 ATOI

Defenseman Ondrej Vala (Czech Republic): Vala, a free agent signing in 2016, had no points and averaged 14:56 of ice time in five games for Czech Republic, which was eliminated in the quarterfinals and finished sixth in the tournament.

Vala Stats (Czech Republic: | 5 GP | 0 G | 0 A | 0 PTS | -4 | 0 PIM | 14:56 ATOI

Goaltender Markus Ruusu (Finland): Ruusu, a sixth-round pick in 2015, was the third goaltender and did not dress in any games for Finland, which did not make the playoff round and won its relegation series against Latvia to finish in ninth place at the tournament.

Thursday's Medal Games

Bronze: Russia 2, Sweden 1 (OT)
Gold: USA 5, Canada 4 (SO)

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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