The U.S. rallied from a 4-0 third-period deficit, but Adam Boqvist scored the overtime winner for a 5-4 victory to extend Sweden’s preliminary-round winning streak alive at 47 games.
With the teams playing 3-on-3, Boqvist, a Chicago Blackhawks first-rounder who plays defence for the OHL’s London Knights, finished off a nice give-and-go rush with Lucas Elvenes at 3:51.
The Juniorkronorna, who earned the silver medal last year, can make it 48 straight victories and clinch the group with a win over Kazakhstan on New Year’s Eve. The streak dates back to the 2007 World Juniors.
In regulation time, Sweden’s Emil Bemström and Filip Westerlund had a goal and an assist apiece. Captain Erik Brännström, who leads all defencemen in scoring, added his fourth goal. Rickard Hugg also scored, and David Gustafsson added a pair of assists.
The U.S got all four of its goals in a wild third-period rally. Ryan Poehling scored a natural hat trick and added an assist, and captain Mikey Anderson also scored. Alexander Chmelevski and Oliver Wahlstrom added two helpers apiece.
The U.S., which is seeking its first gold medal since 2017, will face Finland on New Year’s Eve at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.
Swedish netminder Samuel Ersson won his third straight start, while Kyle Keyser, who played in the 2-1 tournament-opening victory over Slovakia, took the loss for America. Shots favoured Sweden 33-29.
Jack Hughes missed his second consecutive game for precautionary reasons. The Americans hope to have the 17-year-old forward, considered the top prospect for this year’s draft, back in the lineup for the elimination games.
Keyser came up big near the four-minute mark, stoning Jacob Olofsson from the slot. But he couldn’t stop Westerlund from drawing first blood at 4:47. Samuel Fagemo snared the puck inside the U.S. blue line and slid it right over to Westerlund, who skated in and beat the goalie glove side.
Reflecting the cross-border rivalry between Canada and the U.S., the Victoria crowd chanted, “Let’s go, Sweden!” The Swedes got a 5-on-3 for 1:56 after Josh Norris took a cross-checking minor and Dylan Samberg promptly shot the puck over the glass. But Monten’s boys were ineffective, overpassing the puck and handing it away to the Americans.
In the second period, Hugg and Emil Bemström worked a delicious give-and-go on Hugg’s 2-0 goal at 9:21, and Keyser could only reach back in vain as the disc slid into his gaping cage.
At 12:39, Sweden made it 3-0. Top U.S. defenceman Quinn Hughes turned the puck over at the red line and Gustafsson moved it up to Bemström for a breakaway. He deked and backhanded the puck through Keyser’s legs for his third goal of the tournament.
In the third period, Brännström appeared to have put the game out of reach at 2:33, waltzing off the goal line to roof a backhander home. But the fun was just beginning.
The Americans kicked off their comeback with power play prowess. First, they spoiled Ersson’s shutout bid at 9:34 when Anderson pounded a one-timer from the right faceoff circle through the goalie’s legs.
Isac Lundeström took an undisciplined roughing penalty and his team paid the price at 13:25. Chmelevski skimmed a perfect pass to Poehling on the doorstep and he banged it in.
Then Poehling scored twice on high shots, with Keyser pulled for the extra attacker, at 19:23 and 19:36, setting the stage for an exciting, back-and-forth overtime.
The Swedes have now won three out of their last four games against the U.S. The last American win over Sweden was an 8-3 shellacking in the 2016 World Junior bronze medal game.
04:47 – 🇸🇪 GOAL – Westerlund (Fagemo, Elvenes)
15:01 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Norris, cross checking
15:05 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Samberg, delay of game
29:21 – 🇸🇪 GOAL – Hugg (Bemström, Broberg)
32:39 – 🇸🇪 GOAL – Bemström (Gustafsson)
38:12 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Westerlund, tripping
42:33 – 🇸🇪 GOAL – Brännström (Gustafsson, Westerlund)
47:56 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Westerlund, interference
49:34 – 🇺🇸 PP GOAL – Anderson (Wahlstrom, Chmelevski)
53:03 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Lundeström, roughing
53:25 – 🇺🇸 PP GOAL – Poehling (Chmelevski, Wahlstrom)
59:23 – 🇺🇸 EA GOAL – Poehling (Wahlstrom, Hughes)
59:36 – 🇺🇸 EA GOAL – Poehling (Farabee)
63:51 – 🇸🇪 GOAL – Boqvist (Elvenes)
W: 🇸🇪 Ersson (25-29)
L: 🇺🇸 Keyser (28-33)
SHOTS ON GOAL
🇸🇪 7+12+13+1 = 33
🇺🇸 4+8+15+2 = 29
🇸🇪 Goaltenders: Olle Eriksson Ek, Samuel Ersson. Defence: Adam Boqvist, Philip Broberg, Erik Brännström (C), Adam Ginning, Nils Lundkvist, Rasmus Sandin, Filip Westerlund. Forwards: Emil Bemström, Oskar Bäck, Lucas Elvenes, Samuel Fagemo, David Gustafsson, Pontus Holmberg, Rickard Hugg (A), Filip Hållander, Isac Lundeström (A), Jacob Olofson, Filip Svenningsson, Johan Södergran, Fabian Zetterlund.
🇺🇸 Goaltenders: Kyle Keyser, Cayden Primeau. Defence: Mikey Anderson (C), Quinn Hughes (A), Phil Kemp, K’Andre Miller, Dylan Samberg, Mattias Samuelsson, Jack St. Ivany. Forwards: Evan Barratt, Noah Cates, Alexander Chmelevski, Logan Cockerill, Jack Drury, Joel Farabee, Tyler Madden, Josh Norris (A), Jay O’Brien, Ryan Poehling, Jason Robertson, Oliver Wahlstrom.
|🇸🇪 SWEDEN (C)
||vs.||UNITED STATES 🇺🇸
(+ 2 ties)
|First IHLC Meeting (SWE vs. USA)
🇸🇪 SWE 5-5 USA 🇺🇸 – 12/28/1979 – WJC – Vantaa 🇫🇮
|Previous IHLC Meeting (SWE vs. USA)
🇸🇪 SWE 4-2 USA 🇺🇸 – 01/04/2018 – WJC – Buffalo 🇺🇸
|Last IHLC Game
🇸🇪 SWE 5-2 SVK 🇸🇰 – 12/27/2018 – WJC – Victoria 🇨🇦
|Next IHLC Game
🇸🇪 SWE 4-1 KAZ 🇰🇿 – 12/31/2018 – WJC – Victoria 🇨🇦