Sweden, who looked so impressive beating Canada Saturday, had no answers for how to stop the Americans. Team USA simply dominated Tre Kronor, notching a 5-1 win at Olympiahalle Arena in Innsbruck Sunday.
It was the USA’s best win in the tournament and gives them some momentum heading into their next Qualifying Round game against Ukraine.
Mike Modano and Mike Knuble led the way for the Americans with a goal and an assist apiece. The USA outshot Sweden 28-20 on the night.
Coming into tonight’s game, Sweden’s problem was trying to avoid an emotional letdown. After coming back from a two-goal deficit against Canada to win 5-4, there was a danger they might have left it all on the ice a little over 24 hours earlier. And after 60 lacklustre minutes versus the USA, it looked like that’s just what they did.
“We felt pretty good mentally before the game, but we were sloppy defensively,” said Sweden’s Henrik Zetterberg. “We definitely wanted to win this game to stay in first place in our group.”
At the start, both sides were a bit off. Passes were not as crisp as they could have been and action at both ends was rather sporadic. But as time passed, Sweden got even more flat. They did not play as they did versus Canada, using speed to beat defenders to the puck. Instead, they turned the puck over, and the Americans made the most of those mistakes.
“We met a good team,” said Swedish Head Coach Bengt-Åke Gustafsson. “We did not have bite. We used a lot of energy, physically and mentally, against Canada, and the Americans took advantage of our mistakes. They played great defence and counterattack hockey.”
“We caught Sweden at the right time,” said USA Head Coach Peter Laviolette. “I was at that game and they did expend a lot of energy. We used that to our advantage with excellent goaltending and excellent penalty killing.”
David Legwand was penalized for holding the stick at 6:11, giving the Swedes their first power play chance (they ranked twelfth in the tournament entering tonight’s action). But an offensive zone penalty by Sammy Påhlsson quickly ended the opportunity, creating a four-on-four situation.
“You need to have the power play working to win,” said Gustafsson. “We need to work on it more. Sometimes you can make things too complex, trying for pretty plays rather than just trying to get goals.”
When Mark Parrish took a penalty for slashing in retaliation after a hit, the Swedes went on their second power play of the period. They were able to get shots on USA goalie Rick DiPietro–Christian Bäckman managed a couple, as did P.J. Axelsson.
The referee, Richard Schütz, called the Americans for four penalties in the period, but the Swedes could not score.
With 18 seconds left in the first period, Mike Knuble gave the U.S its first lead. Aaron Miller threw a shot on net that bounced off Johan Franzén’s glove as he tried to catch it and on to the stick of Knuble, who didn’t get a whole lot on the shot, although it still went in
“I was in the right spot,” Knuble said.
When Erik Cole was sent off for holding Alfredsson early in the second period, the Swedes could not set up on their power play. But DiPietro saw an opening and fired out a home run pass that went over everyone, dropping at the red line onto the stick of Yan Stastny. Stastny went side to side on Lundqvist, putting the puck in on the forehand and giving the USA a 2-0 lead at 6:21 of the second. It was Stastny’s second goal of the tournament, both being shorthanded tallies.
Cole made it 3-0 just 1:19 later when he streaked down the left side after receiving a pass from Mike Knuble and went stick side. Richard Park almost made it four when he moved in on a 2-on-1 rush. His wrist shot was gloved by Lundqvist. Sweden did get some minimal pressure around DiPietro’s net, but the Massachusetts native was always there.
With the Swedes playing disjointed hockey, the Americans slowed the game down to their pace, knowing that trading chances with Tre Kronor was not the way to go.
However, in the third they picked it up, and Lundqvist was in trouble. Modano scored to make it 4-0 7:39 into the period when he took a pass in stride and wristed it high. Later, Brian Gionta wristed a rolling puck past Lundqvist, who played perhaps his worst game in two seasons of IIHF World Championship play. Team USA scored five goals on only 20 shots in the game.
Sweden was frustrated but finally broke through with under 10 minutes as Johan Franzén scored on a tough angle shot that went over DiPietro’s shoulder into the top of the net. Tomorrow, the Americans play an afternoon contest against Ukraine.
“Now we are in the position that Sweden was in tonight, where we play the second game in as many nights, so we have to be ready to come out in the first period,” said Brian Gionta.
06:11 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Legwand, holding
07:00 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Påhlsson, tripping
12:27 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Parrish, slashing
16:13 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Roach, holding
19:42 – 🇺🇸 GOAL – Knuble (Miller, Modano)
24:48 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Cole, holding
26:21 – 🇺🇸 SH GOAL – Stastny (DiPietro)
27:40 – 🇺🇸 GOAL – Cole (Knuble)
31:02 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Cole, slashing
34:23 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Bäckman, interference
44:07 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Axelsson, high sticking
47:39 – 🇺🇸 GOAL – Modano (Roach)
47:47 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Samuelsson, roughing
47:47 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Stastny, roughing
48:43 – 🇺🇸 GOAL – Gionta (Parise)
50:23 – 🇸🇪 GOAL – Franzén (Höglund, J. Jönsson)
55:05 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Knuble, hooking
57:00 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Stastny, slashing
W: 🇺🇸 DiPietro (27-28)
L: 🇸🇪 Lundqvist (15-20)
SHOTS ON GOAL
🇺🇸 6+7+7 = 20
🇸🇪 9+9+10 = 28
🇺🇸 Goaltenders: Ty Conklin, Rick DiPietro. Defence: Hal Gill, Brett Hauer, Jordan Leopold, John-Michael Liles, Paul Martin, Aaron Miller, Andy Roach. Forwards: Erik Cole, Brian Gionta, Adam Hall, Jeff Halpern, Mike Knuble, David Legwand, Mike Modano, Zach Parise, Richard Park, Mark Parrish, Yan Stastny, Doug Weight, Mike York.
🇸🇪 Goaltenders: Johan Holmqvist, Stefan Liv, Henrik Lundqvist. Defence: Christian Bäckman, Magnus Johansson, Kenny Jönsson, Niklas Kronwall, Mattias Norström, Thomas Rhodin, Ronnie Sundin. Forwards: Daniel Alfredsson, Per-Johan Axelsson, Johan Franzén, Jonathan Hedström, Jonas Höglund, Jörgen Jönsson, Magnus Kahnberg, Samuel Påhlsson, Mikael Samuelsson, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Mattias Weinhandl, Henrik Zetterberg.
|🇺🇸 UNITED STATES||vs.||SWEDEN (C) 🇸🇪|
(previous 05 May 2005)
(since 07 May 2005)
(+ 3 ties)
|First IHLC Meeting (USA vs. SWE)
🇺🇸 USA 3-0 SWE 🇸🇪 – 11 Mar 1933 – EX – Berlin 🇩🇪
|Previous IHLC Meeting (USA vs. SWE)
🇸🇪 SWE 3-2 USA 🇺🇸 – 08 May 2004 – WC – Prague 🇨🇿
|Last IHLC Game
🇸🇪 SWE 5-4 CAN 🇨🇦 – 07 May 2005 – WC – Innsbruck 🇦🇹
|Next IHLC Game
🇺🇸 USA 1-1 UKR 🇺🇦 – 09 May 2005 – WC – Innsbruck 🇦🇹