BERN, Switzerland – Sweden erased a 5-2 deficit and gained a 6-5 overtime win over the U.S. Men's National Team tonight in the final preliminary-round game for both teams at the 73rd annual International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship.
Despite the loss, the U.S. gained first place in Group C and will begin qualification-round play against France Friday (May 1) at 2:15 p.m. EDT.
The only goal of the opening period came off the stick of Patrick O'Sullivan (Winston-Salem, N.C./Edmonton Oilers) at 14:11 when he took an up-ice feed from Jason Blake (Moorhead, Minn./Toronto Maple Leafs/University of North Dakota) and fired the puck into the top corner of the net on a partial breakaway.
Sweden scored goals 1:35 apart in the first seven minutes of the second period to take a 2-1 lead, including a power play goal from Mattias Weinhandl at 5:07 and an even-strength marker off the stick of Marcus Nilson at 6:42. John-Michael Lies (Indianapolis, Ind./Colorado Avalanche/Michigan State University) fired a puck from the side of the circle with the U.S. skating with a two-man advantage at 9:58 to tie the game. Team USA used another five-on-three power play goal, this time by Ryan Shannon (Darien, Conn./Ottawa Senators/Boston College) at 17:26, to take the lead. Defenseman Jack Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind./L.A. Kings/University of Michigan) faked a shot from the point and slid it to Shannon at the side of the net who deflected it past Sweden netminder Jonas Gustavsson. U.S. netminder Robert Esche (Utica, N.Y.) made a key save on Martin Thornberg off a two-on-one rush with :30 left in the period to keep Team USA in the lead after 40 minutes.
The U.S. dominated the first half of the third period and scored twice to take a 5-2 advantage. Shannon scored his second of the game from the slot at 4:06. Then a nice pass off the side wall from David Backes (Minneapolis, Minn./St. Louis Blues/Minnesota State University) to T.J. Oshie (Warroad, Minn./St. Louis Blues/University of North Dakota) ended in a U.S. goal as Oshie made a slick feed to Johnson who found the near corner of the net at 8:20. Sweden, however, scored at 8:46, 12:45 and 16:19 to tie the game and Kristian Huselius' rebound goal 1:59 into the five-minute, four-on-four sudden death overtime period gave the Swedes the victory.
"We took our foot off the gas down the stretch and that cost us," said Ron Wilson, head coach of Team USA. "This is a game we'll learn from as the tournament moves on. We did win our group and I'm proud of our guys for doing that."
Esche made 22 saves in the loss, while Gustavsson picked up with win with 39 stops.
NOTES: The U.S. finished with seven points in Group C and in first place. Sweden was second with six points, while Latvia finished third with five points and Austria fourth with no points. The top three teams in each of the four groups advance to the qualification round. The three teams that advanced from Groups B and C form a new six-team Group E, while the three teams that advanced from Groups A and D form a new six-team Group F. For the schedule and rankings in each group, click here ... Defensemen Jack Johnson (3-2--5) and John-Michael Liles (1-4--5) and forward Patrick O'Sullivan (3-2--5) are tied for the Team USA point lead after three games .... Ryan Shannon, with two goals, was named the U.S. Player of the Game ... The IIHF Men's World Championship includes 16 nations, initially divided into four, four-team pools. In the preliminary round, each team plays the other three teams in its pool. The top three teams in each pool advance to the qualification round. The qualification round consists of two groups of six teams each. A team advancing to the qualification round plays three additional games against the teams it has not yet faced that are part of its new pool. The top four teams in each of the two pools from the qualification round qualification round advance to the single-elimination quarterfinal round, with the winners playing in the semifinals. The two semifinal winners play for the gold medal while the losers play for the bronze medal ... Universal Sports will provide both live streaming and television coverage of the 2009 IIHF Men's World Championship beginning with the quarterfinal round. Until that time, fans in the U.S. may view games on a pay-per-view basis at IIHF.com ... Click here for the Team USA roster ... Click here to download the Team USA media guide ... The 2009 U.S. Men’s National Team is under the direction of Brian Burke, general manager; David Poile, associate general manager; and Jim Johannson, assistant executive director for hockey operations at USA Hockey. The U.S. Men's National Advisory Group, which includes Burke, Paul Holmgren (Philadelphia), Johannson, Dean Lombardi (L.A. Kings), Ray Shero (Pittsburgh) and Don Waddell (Atlanta), is charged with leading the selection of players for the U.S. Men's National Team. Tony Rossi, vice president of USA Hockey and its international council chair, oversees all aspects of international competition for USA Hockey … Ron Wilson, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, is the head coach of the 2009 U.S. Men’s National Team and the 2010 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team. Scott Gordon, head coach of the New York Islanders, and Joe Sacco, head coach of the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League, are the assistant coaches for the 2009 U.S. Men's National Team.
GAME SUMMARY Scoring By Period USA 1 - 2- 2 - 0 - 5 SWE 0 - 2- 3 - 1- 6
First Period - Scoring: 1, USA, O'Sullivan (Blake), 14:11. Penalties: SWE, Tarnstrom (tripping), 5:11; USA, Suter (cross-checking), 10:27; USA, Okposo (hooking), 14:59; SWE, Tarnstrom (interference), 16:45.
Second Period - Scoring: 2, SWE, Weinhandl (Johansson, Tarnstrom), 5:07 (pp); 3, SWE, Nilson (Stralman, Andersson), 6:42; 4, USA, Liles (Johnson, O'Sullivan), 9:58 (5x3 pp); 5, USA, Shannon (Johnson, Liles), 17:26 (5x3 pp). Penalties: USA, Suter (interference), 3:09; SWE, Martensson (slashing), 8:04; SWE, Wallin (tripping), 9:48; SWE, Tarnstrom (slashing), 15:27; SWE, Andersson (delay of game), 16:04.
Third Period - Scoring: 6, USA, Shannon (Stafford, Liles), 4:06; 7, USA, Johnson (Oshie, Backes), 8:20; 8, SWE, Johansson (Weinhandl, Martensson), 8:46; 9, SWE, Persson (Jonsson, Huselius), 12:45 (sh); 10, SWE, Weinhandl (Martensson), 16:19. Penalties: SWE, Akerman (hooking), 11:13.
Overtime - Scoring: Huselius (Persson, Johansson), 1:59. Penalties: None. Shots by Period USA 13-20-11-0-44 SWE 7-10-8-3-28