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Wild second sees USA Blue rally to within 3-2

by Adam Kimelman /

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- A wild second period saw Sweden extend its lead to 3-0 before USA Blue rallied for a pair of goals to make it a 3-2 game after 40 minutes.

Besides the goals, however, were serious injuries to three players. USA Blue forward Stefan Matteau was knocked out of the game when he was hit hard in the head by Sweden's Anton Lindholm. Matteau turned in the defensive zone to receive a pass, and when he started up the ice, Lindholm appeared to launch himself into Matteau, making contact with the head of the New Jersey Devils prospect. Matteau remained on the ice for a few moments before skating off the ice and walking back to the locker room.

Lindholm was given a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct.

Later in the period, Sebastian Collberg, who scored Sweden's two goals in the first period, appeared to injure his right leg when he lost his balance. Collberg needed help getting off the ice and couldn't put any weight on his right leg.

The scariest incident occurred with 13.9 seconds left, when USA Blue's Vincent Hinostroza was battling for a puck with Sweden's Oskar Sundqvist as Sundqvist carried the puck up the ice. As Hinostroza attempted to ride Sundqvist out of the play, he drove the Swedish center head-first into a metal stanchion in a play that looked similar to the one that injured Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty. After remaining face-first on the ice for several minutes, Sundqvist was able to get up and walk back to the Sweden locker room under his own power.

The teams announced prior to the third period that none of the injured players will return to this game.

During actual game action, Gustav Possler, a Buffalo Sabres draft pick, took advantage of a USA Blue defensive-zone turnover, taking a pass, skating to the left hash mark and beating Thatcher Demko at 6:41.

Will Butcher helped USA Blue cut into the lead by scoring once and setting up another goal.

Brady Vail won an offensive-zone faceoff over to Matteau on the left wing, and he won a battle to get the puck back to Butcher at the left point. His long shot went past Sweden goalie Marcus Hogberg at 10:01.

After USA Blue failed to take advantage of the major penalty on Lindholm for his hit on Matteau, getting only three shots on goal, Adam Erne scored with Sweden's Daniel Zaar in the penalty box. Butcher raced the puck up the ice into the Sweden end and sent it over to Connor Carrick. Hogberg stopped his shot, but Erne knocked in the rebound with 43.2 seconds left in the period.

USA Blue will start the third with 1:47 of power-play time after Sweden was assessed a bench minor in the final seconds of the period.

Back with more after the game.


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