Jan. 5, 2016
By Dan Colleran
NOTRE DAME, Ind. ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢’Â¬” Notre Dame sophomore forward Anders Bjork scored a pair of goals to help lead Team USA to an 8-3 win over Sweden in the bronze medal game at the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland on Tuesday (Jan. 5).
Bjork scored his second and third goals of the tournament in the win, including the game’s first goal at 11:59 of the first period as well as a highlight reel tally to put Team USA up 5-2 late in the second period. Bjork went on to be named Team USA’s Player of the Game.
– NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) January 5, 2016
Bjork played all seven games in the tournament for Team USA, finishing with three points on three goals. It marked team USA’s first medal at the annual event since 2013, when current Notre Dame senior forward Mario Lucia and Team USA won gold.
In addition to Bjork, Notre Dame coordinator of hockey operations, Nick Siergiej, and Irish equipment specialist, Dave Gilbert, also won bronze medals serving in the same capacities with Team USA.
Dating back to 1997, Bjork was the 19th Notre Dame player to take part in the IIHF World Junior Championships. Most recently, Thomas DiPauli and Vince Hinostroza were members of the 2014 U.S. Junior National Team that finished fifth in Malmo, Sweden.
Bjork also became the fifth Notre Dame player to win a medal at the World Junior Championship, joining Lucia (gold in 2013), Kyle Palmieri (gold in 2010 and bronze in 2011), Kyle Lawson (bronze in 2007) and Ben Simon (silver in 1997).
Bjork skated in all 17 Notre Dame games during the first semester of the 2015-16 season, totaling five goals and 11 assists for 16 points. His 16 points and 11 assists rank second on the team.
Last season, in 41 games as a freshman, Bjork scored seven goals and added 15 assists for 22 points.
A product of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (2012-14), Bjork is the son of Notre Dame graduates Kirt and Patricia Bjork. Kirt was a 1983 All-American hockey player for the Irish.
The No. 14/15th-ranked Fighting Irish close out non-conference play this weekend (Jan. 8-9) with a home-and-home series versus Western Michigan. Notre Dame will host game one of the series at 7:35 p.m. on Friday (NBC Sports Network). Saturday’s contest at Western Michigan is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start (CBS Sports Network).
— ND —
Dan Colleran, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been a part of Fighting Irish Media since August 2015 and coordinates all media and publicity efforts surrounding the Notre Dame hockey and men’s golf programs. A native Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men’s hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Prior to Providence, Colleran spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League. He is a 2006 graduate of Providence College, where he also earned an MBA in 2008.