Perfect Second Period Effort Sends Sweden to World Championship Finals

Perfect Second Period Effort Sends Sweden to World Championship Finals

Steven Ellis19 May 2018Steven Ellis»
 

Despite a great start for the Americans, Sweden will play for a gold medal at the 2018 World Hockey Championships after defeating the United States 6-0 on Saturday in Denmark.

 
 
 
 

Despite a great start for the Americans, Sweden will play for a gold medal at the 2018 World Hockey Championships after defeating the United States 6-0 on Saturday in Denmark.

Victor Arvidsson was the best player in the first period, despite the United States outplaying Sweden by doubling their shots 16-8. But Arvidsson, who joined the tournament late after the Nashville Predators were eliminated from the NHL playoffs, would make it 1-0 at 14:43 after Filip Forsberg's shot went through Keith Kinkaid's legs and bounced off his left pad, landing on Arvidsson's stick. The Swedish forward easily tapped it in, giving the Tre Kronor the advantage. He would then get a breakaway on his next shift but would get stopped by Kinkaid to keep the game at 1-0.

Things wouldn't get better for the Americans, who have only won two gold medals at the World Championships, but none since 1960. At 7:09 in the second, Magnus Paajarvi scored shorthanded after Mikael Backlund was stopped on the breakaway, with Paajarvi scoring on his second chance to make it 2-0.

A pair of goals at the halfway point of the game made life miserable for the Swedes. First, at 10:05, a perfect passing play between John Klingberg and Backlund eventually made its way to Patric Hornqvist, who took advantage of a bad slashing penalty from Johnny Gaudreau by one-timing a quick feed in the slot through Kinkaid's five-hole to make it 3-0.

11 seconds later, Sweden scored again. This time, Mattias Janmark used his speed to make Charlie McAvoy look silly, blowing past him to the right of the net before backhanding it past Kinkaid, giving Sweden the 4-0 lead. Arvidsson would score one on the empty net with nine minutes left in the game and Adrian Kempe would get a goal of his own, giving Sweden the 6-0 victory and a spot in the gold medal game.

Anders Nilsson was perfect in net for Sweden, stopping all 41 shots that came his way to earn the shutout.

Sweden will wait until later today to find out if they're getting a rematch of the 2017 finals game against Canada, or a 2013 redo against Switzerland, who are still looking for their first gold medal in 53 tries. The championship game will be played at 20:15 local time, while the United States will play the loser of tonight's game in the bronze medal game tomorrow at 15:45.

Follow me on Twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

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