LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Sweden coach Rikard Gronborg said he challenged a few of his leaders to step up their play, and Jacob de la Rose, Robert Hagg and Lucas Wallmark played big roles in a 6-2 defeat of USA Blue on Monday.
De la Rose (Montreal Canadiens), the team captain, had two assists; Wallmark (Carolina Hurricanes), an alternate captain who joined de la Rose on the top line, had a goal and an assist. Hagg (Philadelphia Flyers), also an alternate captain, didn't have a point but displayed a hard, accurate shot at even strength and on the power play and controlled the pace of the game from his defense spot.
"They are the core of the team," Gronborg said. "I'll go out and say that pretty easily. I challenged them a little bit today. Wallmark was good in both games, the other two I challenged a little bit and they stepped up. I know they're character players so you know you can do that. They played excellent [Monday]. That shows a bit of the character of those players."