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Sweden topples USA, clinches Group C with 6-2 win

by Ryan Dittrick / Edmonton Oilers
Magnus Paajarvi and Martin Thornberg join their teammates in celebrating a goal. (Photo by Jukka Rautio / HHOF-IIHF Images)

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Following Monday's dominant 3-0 victory over Austria, Sweden continued to roll Wednesday with another commanding performance against a Group C challenger. 


Both teams came out looking to establish a physical edge early, and frequent post-whistle scrums helped accommodate the willing counterparts. While that side of the game was unrelenting in the opening period, it took nearly 18 minutes before the offensive game could blossom.

At the 17:31 mark, USA defenceman Mark Stuart botched a clearing attempt as he attempted to rim the puck around the boards. Sweden’s Tim Erixon gained possession and passed to a wide-open Patrik Berglund in the slot. His one-timer rocket eluded netminder Al Montoya, putting his club up 1-0.

The Americans were quick to respond, however. A penalty to Sweden’s Mattias Tedenby moments later provided a late-period power-play opportunity. The score was equalized when Derek Stepan launched a beautiful cross-ice saucer pass into the low slot. Cam Fowler was there to receive, relaying the puck past Viktor Fasth only 1:12 after Sweden had gained the early advantage.

With the score even at one, Sweden carried its 13-10 shot lead into the middle frame. In doing so, the evenly matched scoring output became history.

Only 3:17 into the second, Montoya bumbled the puck behind his own net as he attempted to fool a charging opponent. Tedenby pounced on the opportunity, feeding Marcus Kruger in front who backhanded the puck past a sprawling Mark Stuart to put the Swedes up 2-1.

USA was able to match Sweden’s shot count through the opening 10 minutes of the period, but Sweden’s 18th attempt proved challenging for the American goaltender. Mattias Sjogren unleashed a quick snapshot from the top of the circle, piercing the webbing of Montoya before settling into the back of the cage at 10:27.

The onslaught continued at 15:16 when Berglund scored his second of the game, depositing a cleverly-placed pass from teammate Martin Thornberg to set Sweden’s advantage at 4-1. Oilers winger Magnus Paajarvi was instrumental in the play, picking up the second assist on the goal. His work in gaining possession, as well as setting up his teammates helped maintain the team's aggressive forecheck.  

The Americans’ three-goal and three-shot disadvantage carried into the third period. Looking to mount a comeback, Blake Wheeler brought his club within two at 10:29. Sweden’s Fasth cheated to one side, while the 24-year-old winger slide the puck five-hole to make it a 4-2 game.

Despite out-shooting Sweden 13-3 in the third, Sweden reestablished its three-goal lead when Jimmie Ericsson beat Montoya with a long-range wrister after being allowed to walk into the slot, uncontested.

With Jack Johnson in the box, Sweden’s power-play struck to make it a 6-2 game when David Petrasek’s point blast escaped Montoya’s reach; the first man-advantage tally the Americans had given up in the tournament.

When the clocked ticked down, Sweden’s shot edge had been erased with the Americans sealing a 32-30 advantage. But the 6-2 count on the scoreboard clinched victory and Group C for Sweden.

In 16:12, Magnus Paajarvi collected one assist and a plus-two rating in the victory.


Members of Team Canada celebrate after a goal vs Switzerland Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at the World Championship. Canada edged Switzerland 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Jukka Rautio / HHOF-IIHF Images)  
With the Preliminary Round now over, the top three teams from each group have advanced to the Qualification Round. Both Canada (2-1-0-0) and Sweden (2-0-1-0) have moved on following wins in their respective groups.

On Friday, Jordan Eberle and Team Canada will take on the United States as the two teams battle in the Olympic Gold Medal rematch. The game will be broadcast live on TSN starting at 8:15am MT.

Later on Friday, Magnus Paajarvi and Team Sweden will take on France. The contest will begin at 12:15pm MT.

As always, follow the official Oilers Twitter account for updates on Oilers efforts in Slovakia, and visit for a game recap of each Team Canada and Team Sweden game. 

(all times mountain)

Friday, April 29:

Canada 4 - Belarus 1
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Saturday, April 30:

Norway 5 - Sweden 4 (SO)
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

Sunday, May 1:

Canada 9 - France 1
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

Monday, May 2:

Sweden 3 - Austria 0
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

Tuesday, May 3:

Canada 4 - Switzerland 3 (OT)
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Wednesday, May 4:

Sweden 6 vs. USA 2
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos


Friday, May 6:

Canada vs. USA - 8:15am MT
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Sweden vs. France - 12:15pm MT
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Author: Ryan Dittrick |

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