A quick exchange of goals in the second period livened up Wednesday's bronze-medal game here at HSBC Arena.
The Swedes, who lost to Russia two nights ago in the semifinals, struck first as Oscar Lindberg scored a goal from the seat of his pants at the 11:56 mark. On the play, Carl Klingberg came steaming down the right side and fired a tester that USA goalie Jack Campbell pushed into the left circle. Lindberg, however, got just enough of the puck as he fell to the ice to sweep it through Campbell's legs as he went from post to post. American defenseman Jon Merrill just missed an opportunity to clear the puck off the line.
That goal, however, seemed to finally awaken the Americans, who had peppered Swedish goalie Fredrik Petersson Wentzel with shots, but not many testers. Just 96 seconds after the Swedish goal, things were knotted again as the Americans struck on the power play.
Chris Kreider got the goal, one-timing a pass from Chris Brown into the far corner of the net before the Swedish goalie could react. Brown made the play with a strong rush into the zone that took him all the way around the net before he picked out Kreider, who was pretty tightly marked. Kreider, though, was able to get off a quick shot that seemed to surprise Petersson Wentzel.
After two periods, the US holds a 24-18 advantage in shots.
The first period was all about the goaltending.
Petersson Wentzel, the surprise starter for the Swedes, repaid the confidence of coach Roger Ronnberg, stopping all 13 shots the Americans managed in the first. The highlight came when he flashed the left leg to stone Kyle Palmieri on Team's USA's first power play.
Robin Lehner, a top prospect in the Ottawa system, had played the semifinal game against the Russians.
Campbell, who has played every game for the Americans, wasn't nearly as busy, making just 5 saves in the first. But, his right-leg save against Calle Jankrok in the game's first minute -- on a Swedish power play -- set the tone for the period.
Team USA's Emerson Etem probably had the best opportunity to score in the first, but he hit the post after taking a sweet feed from Mitch Callahan.
Canada plays Russia in the gold-medal game later this afternoon.