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Sweden tops U,S. Juniors in WJC tune-up

Friday, 12.20.2013 / 8:52 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  / 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

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2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog
Sweden tops U,S. Juniors in WJC tune-up

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.

O'Regan converted feeds from Jaccob Slavin (Colorado College; Carolina Hurricanes) and Riley Barber (Miami University; Washington Capitals) with 56 seconds left in regulation.

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.

Quote of the Day

It's always a little bit weird, but it moves on. They've got a good team, and they played well tonight. I think that's just part of it.

— Peter Laviolette on facing his former team (Flyers) for the first time since his departure