Alexander Wennberg, a 2013 first-round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets, had a goal and three assists to lead the Swedish Junior National Team to a 4-2 victory against the United States in an exhibition game Friday in Angelholm, Sweden.
The U.S. National Junior Team will play a final exhibition match against Finland on Sunday before beginning preliminary-round action in Group A of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship on Dec. 26.
The U.S., which outshot Sweden 38-23, received third-period goals by Ryan Hartman (Plymouth Whalers; Chicago Blackhawks) and Daniel O'Regan (Boston University; San Jose Sharks). Goalie Anthony Stolarz (London Knights; Philadelphia Flyers) made 19 saves.
"There was a lot to like in how we played tonight," U.S. coach Don Lucia said. "I thought we had vast improvement in our game since we last played. I thought we played with very good energy, especially after the first period. We got pucks in deep and a lot of good looks. Unfortunately, it was one of those nights where their goalie made some outstanding saves. Five-on-five, we scored a couple good deflection goals. The minus was that we gave up two power-play goals."
Sweden opened a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Andreas Johnson (Toronto Maple Leafs) at 6:54 and Wennberg with 21 seconds remaining. Johnson's goal came just 13 seconds after U.S. forward Nic Kerdiles (University of Wisconsin; Anaheim Ducks) was whistled for hooking.
After a scoreless second period, Hartman pulled the Americans within 2-1 on a goal at 1:43. Sebastian Collberg (Montreal Canadiens) then connected at the 14-minute mark before Johnson scored his second power-play goal of the game at 17:25 to give the host country a 4-1 lead.
Sweden goalie Oscar Dansk (Columbus Blue Jackets) made 36 saves. U.S. forward Jack Eichel (U.S. U-18 National Team Development Program), who is eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, was named player of the game for the United States.