GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Rob Schremp was smiling again yesterday. A couple of days ago at the world junior hockey championship, the London Knights forward was down in the dumps.
An OHL-leading 26 goals hadn't been enough to earn him a spot on a regular line in the United States' first game of the tournament on Saturday against Russia.
But that changed during the third period on Monday night during a wild 6-4 victory over Switzerland that saw Schremp score the winning goal.
Chris Bourque, son of ex-NHLer Ray Bourque, was benched and Schremp was in.
Yesterday at practice, he was on a line and will be used in that situation tonight when the U.S. plays Belarus.
"I'm just working my way up from the bottom to where the coaches can trust me on the ice and I'm accountable for what I do," he said.
"I'm more responsible on the ice, I guess, (and that's) what they're looking for . . . I think I've done it."
Schremp said he wasn't aware that his disappointment with just two shifts -- both on the power play and resulting in one goal -- against Russia was that visible.
"It's tough. Everybody wants to play here but it's about sacrifices, and to help teams to win, you've got to come and sacrifice ice time.
"In London, I may have a bigger part than here but there's a lot of good players here, so like I said, I'm just trying to work my way up."
Schremp would like nothing better than to meet Knights teammates Corey Perry and Danny Syvret in a U.S.-Canada gold-medal game on Tuesday. But the Americans will have to shore up their defensive game if they want to make it that far.
They led the Swiss 2-0 going into the third period on Monday but the game turned into a goal rush as opposed to a gold rush, as Switzerland tied it with goals 19 seconds apart.
By the time they had played seven minutes and six seconds, it was 6-4 for the U.S.
"We stranded Al (Montoya, the U.S. goalie) a lot," Schremp said.
"Some might say there were some weak goals, but we gave them too many shots and Al can't save all of them."
Schremp said he had some fun with Perry and Syvret when he saw them for the first time at the tournament yesterday. "We think we're the best, they think they're the best. You have to have some confidence and cockiness in what you do to be a good hockey player.
"A lot of people say hockey players are cocky people, but that's the way it's got to be. If you don't believe in yourself, how are you going to be successful?
"There's a difference between cockiness and arrogance. If you're cocky, it's a good thing.
"If you're arrogant, it's a bad thing. So I think everyone is a little cocky here."