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Team USA earns bronze medal under Plant

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Derek Plante’s Team USA earned a bronze medal in the recent Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup junior hockey tournament in the Czech Republic.

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The Americans started their pool play with a 4-2 loss to the host team on Aug. 11 but rebounded with a 7-4 win over Russia the next day and earned a place in the semifinals on Aug. 13 with a 9-4 win over Finland.

In the semifinals on Aug. 15, the Americans couldn’t keep the puck out of their net in an 11-5 loss to Pool B winner Canada, which won the tournament for the seventh straight year the next day with a 6-2 win over the Czech Republic.

Meanwhile, the Americans faced Sweden for third place and won 5-4 in overtime after losing a 4-2 lead with nine minutes to play.

Dennis Yan scored four minutes into overtime to give Plante a medal in his first head coaching stint with USA Hockey.

Plante was a standout Cloquet High School hockey player before going on to play at University of Minnesota-Duluth (where he was a Hobey Baker finalist and is now an assistant coach). Plante was also a Stanley Cup winner with the Dallas Stars, along with fellow Cloquet native Jamie Langenbrunner.

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