USA vs. Sweden final score, results: Isaac Howard lifts Americans to sixth World Juniors gold medal

Twenty years ago, in 2004, the United States earned the country its first gold medal at the World Juniors. 

Flash forward two decades later, and the Americans are World Juniors champions for the sixth time in tournament history. 

The USA completed its undefeated run at the 2024 tournament on Friday, taking down Sweden 6-2 in the gold medal game. It’s the first time since 2021 that the Americans are heading home with gold around their necks. 

Isaac Howard scored twice for the USA, while Gabe Perreault, Ryan Leonard, Zeev Buium and Rutger McGroarty all found the back of the net. Trey Augustine concluded his sensational tournament by making 26 saves in the win.

There was bad blood heading into the contest between the two sides. Not only did the Americans knock off the Swedes for bronze at the last World Juniors, there is history between the personnel on these two teams.

A good portion of players competing on both sides met in the gold medal game at the U18 Worlds the last two years. Sweden emerged victorious at that tournament, defeating the USA 6-4 in the championship, while the United States beat Sweden 3-2 in overtime of the 2023 championship.

For Sweden, the World Juniors drought continues. The Swedes have not won at the tournament in over a decade, with the country’s last gold coming in 2012. With the loss in the 2024 gold medal game, Sweden’s record dropped to 2-12 in championship games at the World Juniors. 

The Sporting News is providing all the updates and highlights from the USA vs. Sweden gold medal game at the 2024 World Juniors.

USA vs. Sweden final score

  1 2 3 OT F
USA 1 2 3 6
Sweden 0 2 0 2

USA vs. Sweden results, highlights from 2024 World Juniors gold medal game

(All times Eastern)

Final: USA 6, Sweden 2

4:05 p.m. — On the 20th anniversary of the USA’s first World Juniors championship, the Americans win gold again, the sixth time winning the title at the U20 tournament. The favorites heading into the tournament proved why, going undefeated in seven games to earn the country’s first World Juniors gold since 2021. 

4:01 p.m. — A handful of penalties are being handed out on both sides, but it doesn’t matter. The gold medal at the 2024 World Juniors is going to the United States. 

4 p.m. — The bad blood from both sides is boiling over in the final seconds. There are punches being thrown with 31 seconds to go. 

USA 6, Sweden 2

3:55 p.m. — GOAL! Sweden pulls Havelid for the extra attacked, but seconds later, McGroarty sends it into the empty net. That will do it, with the USA up 6-2 with 3:10 left in regulation. 

USA 5, Sweden 2

3:53 p.m. — GOAL! Ryan Leonard gives the USA some breathing room, as the Capitals prospect makes a great individual effort to right through a Swedish defender and his shot beasts Havelid by the blocker. The 2023 U18 hero for the USA against Sweden last year may have just put the dagger into the hearts of Sweden again, this time at the World Juniors. It’s 5-2 with 3:48. 

3:52 p.m. — Sweden was inches away from cutting the lead to just one, but the puck wouldn’t bounce its way. It looks like a shot from Axel Sandin Pellikka from the point hit the post and sat in the crease before getting cleared out by the Americans. The USA remains ahead 4-2 with under five minutes to go. 

3:45 p.m. — The USA can’t take advantage of the four-minute power play and it’s back to even strength with just over nine minutes to go in regulation. Havelid made a sensational diving stop on Quinn Finley in the dying seconds to keep it a two-goal deficit. That’s a massive kill by Sweden, giving the hosts a bit of momentum. 

3:43 p.m. — The first half of the double minor is killed off by Sweden. The USA still have two minutes of power play time. 

3:38 p.m. — USA is heading to its first power play of the game, as the officials assess a double minor to Ostlund for high-sticking. So it will be a four-minute power play for the USA. The Americans have a chance to make this a three-goal game with 13:03 left in the third. 

3:36 p.m. — Play stops for a hand pass on Sweden, but Lane Hutson is bleeding from his lip. It looks like the officials are going to review the play for a potential high-sticking call on Sweden. 

3:33 p.m. — The United States isn’t letting its foot off the gas. The team is playing responsible with the two-goal lead, but is still pressuring Havelid and the Swedes. 

USA 4, Sweden 2

3:26 p.m. — GOAL! The USA lead is back to two goals, as Zeev Buium unleashes a wicked one-timer on an offensive zone faceoff. The 2024 draft prospect lets one go from the top of the circles that beats Havelid under the blocker just 1:19 into the third period. That’s a massive goal for the Americans, and the Swedes are looking at an uphill battle for the third. 

3:24 p.m. — And here we go. The final 20 minutes of regulation in the gold medal game are underway. 

End of the second period: USA 3, Sweden 2

3:06 p.m. — Buckle up, folks. Sweden tied the game early in the frame, but the United States responded with two goals to pull ahead 3-1. However, Lekkerimaki’s goal with five seconds left in the second period gives Sweden the momentum heading into the final period. Shots on goal heading into the final 20 minutes of regulation are 17-16 in favor of the Americans. We’re in for a fun third period. 

USA 3, Sweden 2

3:05 p.m. — GOAL! The power play comes through for Sweden as Jonathan Lekkerimaki powers a one-timer from the point by Augustine. The shot from long range may have been deflected off Ryan Chesley in front of Augustine, but regardless, a massive goal from Sweden to make it a one-goal game with five seconds left in the second period. 

3:03 p.m. — With 54 seconds left in the second period, Sweden heads to a power play. Seamus Casey is called for tripping Tom Willander. Sweden was unable to capitalize on its previous chance in the first. 

2:59 p.m. — It’s getting more physical in the last few minutes of the second. Rutger McGroarty lays out Unger Sorum on a scoring chance for Sweden that the Gothenburg crowd, nor the Sweden bench, is happy to see go uncalled. 

USA 3, Sweden 1

2:55 p.m. — GOAL! It’s Howard again for the USA to extend the lead to two. The Americans grind down low and cause a turnover by winning the puck battle behind the net. Howard comes out from behind the goal line with the puck and tries a pass in front, but it deflects off Havelid and into the net. It’s 3-1 now with 5:41 to go in the second. 

2:51 p.m. — Ostlund has been terrific today for Sweden. The Sabres prospect nearly tied the contest after making a nice move to cut inside towards the slot, but his attempt was sent up and over the net. 

USA 2, Sweden 1

2:45 p.m. — GOAL! The USA get another breakaway and this time, Isaac Howard comes through. Fortescue sends a lengthy pass from his own zone around the boards, Howard picks up the puck in the neutral zone with speed and he beats Havelid five-hole with the deke. The Americans pull back in front with 10:36 to go in the second. 

2:43 p.m. — A blocked shot in the defensive zone leads to a USA breakaway for Smith, but his shot attempt misses wide to the glove side. The Americans haven’t generated much through the first seven minutes of the second period, but the USA remains dangerous on the rush due to the speed of the group. 

2:38 p.m. — It’s been a strong start to the second for the Swedes, especially out of the Stenberg-Edstrom-Unger Sorum line. The trio just had another extended shift in the offensive zone, making things difficult behind the net and in the corners for the USA. 

USA 1, Sweden 1

2:34 p.m. — GOAL! Just 2:13 into the second, and it’s back to a tied game as Sweden gets on the scoreboard. Mattias Havelid’s shot from the point is deflected by Otto Stenberg in front and goes through the legs of Augustine for Stenberg’s fifth goal of the tournament. A really strong forechecking shift by the Swedes pays off, and it’s 1-1 early in the second. 

2:32 p.m. — The middle frame between the USA and Sweden is underway. 

End of the first period: USA 1, Sweden 0

2:14 p.m. — The United States lead 1-0 after the first period. It was a very even first period, with the goaltenders on each side showing out, but it was Gabe Perreault who finally broke the scoreless tie with three minutes left. Shots on goal were 10-7 in the period in favor of the USA. 

2:10 p.m. — After Sweden was generating the better chances in the first half of the period, it’s been the United States taking over offensively in the latter part of the frame. 

USA 1, Sweden 0

2:07 p.m. — GOAL! The USA strikes first in the gold medal game, as Gabe Perreault opens the scoring. On a delayed penalty to Sweden, Will Smith makes a sensational slap-pass to find Perreault at the top of the crease, and the Rangers prospects deflects it right by Havelid. It’s 1-0 United States with 3:04 left in the first. 

2:05 p.m. — Quinn Finley splits the defense and gets a partial breakaway for the USA, but he runs out of room near the net, allowing Havelid to make the pad save. 

2:01 p.m. — Despite being small by goaltender standards (5-10), Havelid has been extremely impressive in the Swedish net. He is positionally sound and does not give up many second chance opportunities off rebounds. The goaltending battle between Havelid and Augustine has been as advertised so far, with neither side allowing a goal through the first 15 minutes. There’s 5:11 left in the first.  

1:53 p.m. — Through the first 10 minutes, Sweden has been the better team. However, Augustine has answered the bell on the USA side, turning aside all five shots he has faced so far. 

1:51 p.m. — Fortescue exits the box as the USA kill off the penalty. Sweden had some great looks, but couldn’t convert. Felix Unger Sorum had the best look on a one-timer with Augustine out of position, but he fanned on the attempt. 

1:48 p.m. — Sweden gets the first power play of the game 7:16 into the first. Drew Fortescue is called for high-sticking Oskar Pettersson. Sweden have converted on 45% of its power play chances at the tournament, while the USA has killed off 85% of its penalties. 

1:47 p.m. — Sweden nearly capitalizes on a chance off the rush. On a 4 on 2, Theo Lindstein takes a drop pass and rockets a slap shot wide of the net, but the puck boucnes off the back board to Ostlund. Augustine dives over to the other side and makes a stop on the goal line. 

1:43 p.m. — Trey Augustine kicks away a shot, but the rebound goes right to Noah Ostlund. Luckily for the USA, the Swedish forward sails the second chance high and wide of the net. 

1:42 p.m. — The Scandinavium is rocking today with the home Swedish crowd. It’s a sea of yellow in Gothenburg, and the fans are lively. 

1:38 p.m. — Here we go. The 2024 World Juniors gold medal game is underway from Gothenburg. 


1:20 p.m. — The stars one each side have shined throughout the whole tournament. For the USA, it’s been Cutter Gauthier (two goals, 10 assists), Jimmy Snuggerud (five goals, two assists), Frank Nazar (eight assists) and Gavin Brindley (six goals, three assists). For Sweden, it has been Jonathan Lekkerimaki (six goals, three assists), Noah Ostlund (three goals, six assists), Otto Stenberg (four goals, four assists) and Theo Lindstein (two goals, six assists). 

1 p.m. — The last — and only — time the USA and Sweden have met in the championship of the World Juniors was in 2013. The Americans ruined the Swedes chance at repeating as champions that year, defeating Sweden 3-1 in the gold medal game. 

12:45 p.m. — A big storyline to watch is how the USA offense stacks up against a stout Sweden defense. The Swedes have allowed more than two goals in a game just once through six contests at the competition, allowing a tournament-best 1.46 goals per game. Meanwhile, the high-flying offense of the Americans is clicking at a rate of 6.5 goals per game. Something has to give in the gold medal game. 

12:25 p.m. — Here is how the two sides lineup for the gold medal game at the 2024 World Juniors. It is expected to be battle between Trey Augustine and Hugo Havelid in net. 

12 p.m. — As mentioned earlier, there is bad blood at this age group between the USA and Sweden. Combined between the two sides, there are 35 players that played at the 2022 and/or 2023 U18 Worlds tournament. Sweden defeated the United States in the 2022 gold medal game 6-4, but the USA got the better of the Swedes in the 2023 gold medal game, wining 3-2 in overtime. 

What channel is USA vs. Sweden on today?

  • TV channels: TSN (Canada) | NHL Network (United States)
  • Live stream: TSN app (Canada) | Fubo (United States)

USA vs. Sweden will air on TSN in Canada and NHL Network in the U.S.

Viewers can also stream the game on the TSN app in Canada and Fubo in the U.S.

USA vs. Sweden start time

  • Date: Friday, Jan. 5
  • Time: 1:30 p.m. ET | 10:30 a.m. PT

The gold medal game between the USA vs. Sweden will start at 1:30 p.m. ET on Friday, Jan. 5. 

It is the final game of the 2024 World Juniors. 

2024 World Juniors knockout stage schedule, results

Tuesday, Jan. 2

Matchup Time (ET)
Finland 4, Slovakia 3 (OT) – Quarterfinal FINAL
Czechia 3, Canada 2 – Quarterfinal  FINAL
USA 7, Latvia 2 – Quarterfinal  FINAL
Sweden 3, Switzerland 2 (OT) – Quarterfinal  FINAL

Thursday, Jan. 4

Matchup Time (ET)
Germany 5, Norway 4 (OT) – Relegation Game          FINAL
Sweden 5, Czechia 2 – Semifinal FINAL
USA 3, Finland 2 – Semifinal FINAL

Friday, Jan. 5

Matchup Time (ET) TV
Czechia 8, Finland 5 – Bronze Medal Game   FINAL TSN/NHL Network
Sweden vs. USA – Gold Medal Game 1:30 p.m. TSN/NHL Network

2024 World Juniors bracket

Here is how the medal round is shaping up at the 2024 World Juniors:

Gold Medal Game

— USA vs. Sweden

Bronze Medal Game

Czechia vs. Finland


Sweden vs. Czechia

USA vs. Finland


1A Sweden vs. 4B Switzerland

1B USA vs. 4A Latvia

— 2A Canada vs. 3B Czechia

— 2B Slovakia vs. 3A Finland

USA vs. Sweden odds

  • Moneyline: USA -145 | Sweden +110
  • Puckline: USA -1 (+135) | Sweden +1 (185)
  • O/U: 5.5

Heading into the gold medal game, USA is viewed as the favorite over Sweden, according to Sports Interaction. 

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