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USA wins gold, Eric Pohlkamp brings home first WJC medal to Bemidji State

Jan. 5—GOTHENBURG, Sweden — No Bemidji State men's hockey player had won a World Junior Championship medal before Friday.

Freshman defenseman Eric Pohlkamp and Team USA beat Sweden 6-2 in the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship title game, making Pohlkamp Bemidji State's first WJC medal recipient in program history. Pohlkamp is the first BSU player to compete for Team USA in the annual international hockey tournament.

In seven games, Pohlkamp had one goal and two assists. He finished the tournament with a plus-3 rating. Pohlkamp's second assist was initially recorded as a goal before the play was reviewed and awarded to Gavin Brindley instead.

Beavers freshman forward Kasper Magnussen finished his five games for Team Norway with one assist and a minus-6 rating. Norway finished the tournament 0-5 after losing to Germany in the relegation game on Thursday morning.

Norway scored two goals in the final five minutes of the third period to tie the game before Germany's Elias Moritz scored the overtime winner 58 seconds into the extra session. Magnussen played almost 14 minutes.

Norway will be relegated to the 2024 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A.

Pohlkamp and Magnussen are the first two current Bemidji State men's hockey players to compete in the WJC. Five other Beavers competed for medals as recruits before they came to Bemidji.

Radoslav Illo competed for Slovakia in 2019 before coming to BSU. He scored two goals and three assists in six games. Sam Solensky also competed for Slovakia in the 2020 tournament, recording an assist in five games.

Miika Lindholm was the first Bemidji State recruit to play in the WJC. He played for Finland in the 2000 tournament before a quarterfinal exit. Anssi Tierenta also played for Finland in 2005 before a quarterfinal elimination. Current BSU forward Jakub Lewandowski played for Poland in the Group B Tournament in 2020.