Monmouth County native instrumental in Team USA Hockey winning gold at World Junior Championship
Team USA Hockey won the gold at the World Junior Championship and a Monmouth County native was a big part of the win.
After spending a month competing in Edmonton against some of the best junior prospects in the world, John Farinacci is back in New Jersey.
“It hasn’t even sunk in yet, honestly. It was such a great moment seeing that clock go down to zero and knowing that we won gold,” he says.
The Manasquan native helped Team USA capture its fifth gold medal in the prestigious World Junior Championship, capped by a 2-0 win over Canada in the final.
The 19-year-old played one year at Delbarton before finishing his high school career in Massachusetts. The Arizona Coyotes prospect was playing for Harvard, but a few months after the COVID-19 pandemic stopped NCAA competition, the opportunity with the Junior National Team came up.
“Going into camp, I was still trying to find my spot on the team and still trying to make the team and to be here now is really incredible,” Farinacci says.
He certainly stood out. He contributed five goals and two assists throughout the tournament and was named the U.S. player of the game in the quarterfinals against Slovakia.
"It's such a great opportunity to represent your country and obviously you go into the tournament wanting to win gold, expecting to win gold and we had such a good team and so many great coaches,” he says.
One of the coaches was longtime NHL veteran and current Harvard head coach Ted Donato – who also happens to be Farinacci’s uncle.
“He’s taught me so much and to share that moment with him in Edmonton was just so cool and so special,” Farinacci says.
He says that he plans to head back to Harvard for his junior season. He says that he hopes to one day make it to the NHL. But for now, he is taking a few days to rest and reflect.
"With everything going on and how tough this year has been for a lot of people, it was definitely a cool opportunity and one of the best moments of my life for sure,” he says.
This was the fifth time in the last six years that Team USA medaled at the World Junior Championship. It is the best medal stretch in the nation’s history.