Sweden keeps streak alive after wild third period

Sweden keeps streak alive after wild third period

Steven Ellis30 Dec 2018Steven Ellis»
 

The United States threatened Sweden's round-robin winning streak with four unanswered goals in the final 12 minutes, but an overtime goal by Adam Boqvist would seal the deal in overtime in a wild and wacky game that resulted in Sweden taking the 5-4 victory.

 
 
 
 

The United States threatened Sweden's round-robin winning streak with four unanswered goals in the final 12 minutes, but an overtime goal by Adam Boqvist would seal the deal in overtime in a wild and wacky game that resulted in Sweden taking the 5-4 victory.

With the result, Sweden has won its 47th straight round-robin game at the World Junior Hockey Championships, but the lost point to the Americans means they haven't won Group B play just yet. To win the group, Sweden will need to beat Kazakhstan, who they play on the final day of the round robin on New Year’s Eve. The Americans will also play on Monday, with their meeting against Finland serving as the final game of the round robin for all teams.

The Americans couldn't find their groove at any point in the first 40 minutes despite killing off a crucial 5-on-3 late in the opening frame. Before that, Filip Westerlund opened up the scoring after getting a weak shot under the glove of Kyle Keyser, putting the Americans on their heels early.

The Swedes then extended their lead to 3-0 before the second period came to a close. At 29:21, Rickard Hugg scored after both Philip Broberg and Emil Bemstrom couldn't the American defence on a couple of bouncing chances, with Hugg knocking it in after one last whack at it.

At 32:39, Quinn Hughes, USA's top defender, would give the puck away in the neutral zone to David Gustafsson. Gustafsson would poke the disk down the ice to a streaking Bemstrom, who slid the puck between Keyser's legs to make it 3-0 after an effective transition play by the Swedes.

The Americans continued to look lost in their own zone, and a star Vegas Golden Knights prospect made them pay for it. After the Americans were caught chasing the puck, Erik Brannstrom, who scored twice against Finland to open Sweden’s tournament, would make it 4-0 after cutting into the zone after grabbing the puck at the blue line and backhanding the puck over Keyser, putting his team up by another goal.

The Americans were the better team in the third period, and after getting severely outplayed early, they scored a pair of goals to give them some life late. American captain Mikey Anderson would get things started at 49:34 on the power play after Ryan Poehling found Alexander Chmelevski in the high slot. Chemelevski then got the puck over to Anderson, who fired a powerful shot through the legs of Swedish goalie Samuel Ersson. Then, on another power play chance at 53:25, Oliver Wahlstrom made a pass to an unguarded Poehling, who re-directed the feed past Ersson to cut the lead in half.

With two goals in the final minute by Poehling, a Montreal Canadiens prospect, USA forced overtime in a game that looked like a disaster for them. And despite all of USA's chances in a game that looked like they had no chance halfway through, they couldn't finish the job as Adam Boqvist would win the battle in overtime to give Sweden the victory.

Follow me on Twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

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