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Stillwater coach Phil Housley guided the U.S. National Junior Team to a 3-1 victory over Sweden in the World Junior Championship gold medal game on Saturday in Ufa, Russia.

"I couldn't be more proud of our players and staff," Housley, head coach of the U.S. junior team, said in a USAHockey.com report. "And I'm also really happy for hockey fans in our country. This was a total team effort throughout the tournament. 

“It was a very difficult challenge tonight against an excellent Swedish team. We had a terrific experience here and I'd like to thank the Russian Hockey Federation for being an excellent host."

Housley, a standout high school player at South St. Paul who went on to become one of the highest scoring defensemen in NHL history, joins International Falls native Dean Blais as Minnesota-born coaches to lead the U.S. to a World Junior Championship gold medal. Blais, the former Roseau and International Falls high school coach currently working as the head coach at Nebraska-Omaha, guides the U.S. to the tournament championship in 2010.

Housley is in his ninth season as the head coach at Stillwater. The Ponies are 6-4-1 this season.

The U.S. team roster included University of Minnesota defenseman Mike Reilly, who played high school hockey for Holy Angels, and Notre Dame forward Mario Lucia, a former Wayzata High School star.

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