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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

Right now I'm just happy to be back and get through this season and make sure I do my job. I've never had an issue with having to prove myself again and I'll try to do it again. We'll see where it takes me.

— Defenseman Torey Krug on signing with the Boston Bruins
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