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Team North America still alive after thrilling OT win

Nathan MacKinnon scored in the final minute of overtime to beat Sweden 4-3

by Chris Wescott | Head Writer @TheChrisWescott / Edmontonoilers.com

It was a game that truly lived up to expectations, and an overtime that exceeded them as Team North America beat Sweden 4-3 in sudden death.

Despite the loss, Sweden secured first place in Group B with the point, while North America's tournament hopes now rest with Russia.

               
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It took only 30 seconds for North America to get one past Henrik Lundqvist. Auston Matthews drew the Swedes to his side of the ice and sauced a pass to the other. A wide open Morgan Reilly unleashed a shot and the rebound came right back to Matthews who buried the game's opening goal.

Connor McDavid had the second assist after a brilliant individual effort to navigate through the neutral zone and get the puck in deep.

Moments later, North America's Johnny Gaudreau was awarded a penalty shot but fired high of Lundqvist. 

Vincent Trocheck put North America up 2-0 at 1:35, assisted by Shayne Gostisbehere and Jack Eichel.

At 8:24 of the first, the Swedes found the back of the net. Filip Forsberg sniped one from the slot to make it a 2-1 game.

Still in the opening frame, at 13:57, Gaudreau got another chance one-on-one with Lundqvist and redeemed his earlier penalty shot. The North American winger broke away free and put a great move on the goaltender, tucking the puck behind to give his team a two-goal lead.

Sweden jumped back within one at 16:28 of the first. John Gibson couldn't get back in time to cover a Nicklas Backstrom shot, and it was a 3-2 game with the Swedes putting some pressure on the 23-and-under squad.

With 1:24 left in the opening frame, McDavid was stopped by Lundqvist one-on-one.

Late in the second, Team North America began to pull away in shots a little more as they got a few good chances on Lundqvist. Nathan MacKinnon was stopped in the slot by the Swedish netminder and Lundqvist again had a glove save on a good chance moments later.

With 5:15 left in the second, McDavid set up Jonathan Drouin on a rush but Lundqvist flashed the glove again. At that point in the game, North America was outshooting Sweden 32-26 in a 3-2 battle.

Video: WORLD CUP | NAT vs. SWE Recap

At 6:50 of the third, Sweden tied the game 3-3. The Swedes cycled the puck and a shot from the point by Erik Karlsson found its way through with Patrik Berglund's help as he tipped it in.

North America had to kill off a big Trochek boarding penalty at 9:54 of the final frame of regulation. They were able to clear the puck and survive the shorthanded setback.

Another setback came when McDavid was called for holding at 15:34, which was followed by much protest from the fans, players and coaches of Team North America. Their penalty kill came up huge again, keeping Sweden off the board.

The game stayed tied at three after three periods, which meant it would go to overtime.

North America was all over the Swedes in the opening minutes of sudden death. Lundqvist made a remarkable pad save on McDavid backdoor, robbing the North America captain.

After Daniel Sedin missed a wide open net the other way in the final two minutes, MacKinnon was the hero for North America, lifting a backhander over Lundqvist for the winner with 49 seconds to go.

North America now needs Russia to lose in any fashion against Finland tomorrow in order to advance to the semi-finals.

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