GANGWON, South Korea — The U.S. Youth Olympic Men’s Hockey Team, behind a shutout from Xavier Wendt (Plymouth, Minn.) and a pair of goals from Mikey Berchildt (Excelsior, MN), earned a 4-0 victory over Czechia in the gold-medal game of the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games at Gangneung Hockey Centre on Wednesday.
“Extremely proud of the team, staff, and all the coaches for giving their heart and soul to this project,” said Joe Bonnett (Canton, Mich.), head coach of the U.S. Youth Olympic Men’s Team. “We came out with a strong effort against a really good Czech team and were able to accomplish what we came here to do, which was win the gold medal. This group of young men is an indication of a bright future for USA Hockey.”
The U.S. finished the tournament with a 3-0-1-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record to earn its third tournament medal all-time.
Berchild scored on the man-advantage to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead at 8:39 in the opening period. Zane Torre (Ladera Ranch, Calif.) bumped the puck to AJ Francisco (Hermantown, Minn.) on the blueline, who set Berchild up for a one-timer that picked the top corner.
Team USA took a two-goal lead after Hurlbert walked out from behind the net and roofed the puck from the slot, capitalizing off a feed from Logan Stuart (Los Angeles, Calif.) at 6:04 in the second period.
The U.S. shut down Czechia on the power play late in the middle stanza to keep them scoreless heading into the final period.
Berchild netted his second goal of the game at 12:33 in the third frame to give the U.S. a 3-0 advantage. Hurlbert sent Parker Trottier (Edina, Minn.) down the ice who found Berchild as he trailed into the slot and tapped the puck past goaltender Jan Larys.
Torre added another tally for Team USA on the power play with 2:35 left to play. Berchild and Hurlbert picked up assists on the play.
The U.S. shutdown Czechia in the final minutes and skated to a 4-0 victory to win the gold medal.
Wendt stopped all 29 shots he faced for his first shutout of the tournament.
NOTES: Czechia outshot Team USA 29-23… Mikey Berchild led the U.S. with nine points (4G, 5A) in the tournament… Team USA won its second gold medal in the Winter Youth Olympic Games, the most of any country… Team USA also won gold in 2016 in Lillehammer, Norway.