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USA wins gold at World Junior championship, team includes Lumberjacks' forward

The world junior championship tournament includes the best hockey players under the age of 20, including Muskegon Lumberjacks' forward John Farinacci.

MUSKEGON, Mich — The U.S. National Junior Team beat Canada, 2-0 Tuesday night in Edmonton, Alberta to claim a fifth gold medal since 2004.

The team got goals from Trevor Zegras and Alex Turcotte to beat the heavily favored team from Canada.

Team USA goalie Spencer Knight made 34-saves in the shutout, his third shutout in the tournament.

The annual tournament includes the world's best hockey players under the age of 20, including Muskegon Lumberjacks' forward John Farinacci.

Farinacci took a month leave from the Lumberjacks to participate in the tournament. He's expected to rejoin the team over the weekend.

"We'll give him the weekend off to recoup and enjoy it," said U.S.H.L. Muskegon Lumberjacks' Head Coach Mike Hamilton. "Then he'll be joining us back on the ice Monday or Tuesday next week."

During the tournament Farinacci contributed with 5 goals and two assists.

"He had a very successful tournament," said Hamilton. "He was used in the penalty kill role, he did a phenomenal job on faceoffs."

Farinacci joined the Lumberjacks this season after playing one season at Harvard.

"John has been a big part of our success and what's going on here. He's a guy that has added leadership and he's a very talented young man," said Hamilton.

Former Muskegon Lumberjacks' defenseman Hunter Skinner is also a member of the gold medal U.S. National Junior Team. Skinner played two seasons in Muskegon.

Former Muskegon Lumberjacks' President and G.M. John Vanbiesbrouck is Assistant Executive Director of Hockey Operations for USA Hockey.

West-Michigan's other connection to Team U.S.A. is Grand Rapids Griffins' General Manager Ryan Martin who helped Vanbiesbrouck and team coach Nate Leaman select players to participate in the tournament. 

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