Sweden Beats U.S. in OT

    Sweden rallied to beat the United States in overtime Wednesday in the World Championships in Switzerland. It was the first loss for the Americans (2-1). This report from USA Hockey:

BERN, Switzerland – Sweden erased a 5-2 deficit and gained a 6-5 overtime win over the U.S. Men’s National Team tonight in the final preliminary-round game for both teams at the 73rd International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship.

 Despite the loss, the U.S. gained first place in Group C begins qualification-round play Friday against France at 1:15 p.m.

The only goal of the opening period came off the stick of Patrick O’Sullivan (Winston-Salem, N.C./Edmonton Oilers) at 14:11 when he took an up-ice feed from Jason Blake (Moorhead, Minn./Toronto Maple Leafs/University of North Dakota) and fired the puck into the top corner of the net on a partial breakaway.

Sweden scored goals 1:35 apart in the first seven minutes of the second period to take a 2-1 lead, including a power play goal from Mattias Weinhandl at 5:07 and an even-strength marker off the stick of Marcus Nilson at 6:42. John-Michael Lies (Indianapolis, Ind./Colorado Avalanche/Michigan State University) fired a puck from the side of the circle with the U.S. skating with a two-man advantage at 9:58 to tie the game. Team USA used another five-on-three power play goal, this time by Ryan Shannon (Darien, Conn./Ottawa Senators/Boston College) at 17:26, to take the lead. Defenseman Jack Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind./L.A. Kings/University of Michigan) faked a shot from the point and slid it to Shannon at the side of the net who deflected it past Sweden netminder Jonas Gustavsson. U.S. netminder Robert Esche (Utica, N.Y.) made a key save on Martin Thornberg off a two-on-one rush with :30 left in the period to keep Team USA in the lead after 40 minutes.

The U.S. dominated the first half of the third period and scored twice to take a 5-2 advantage. Shannon scored his second of the game from the slot at 4:06. Then a nice pass off the side wall from David Backes (Minneapolis, Minn./St. Louis Blues/Minnesota State University) to T.J. Oshie (Warroad, Minn./St. Louis Blues/University of North Dakota) ended in a U.S. goal as Oshie made a slick feed to Johnson who found the near corner of the net at 8:20. Sweden, however, scored at 8:46, 12:45 and 16:19 to tie the game and Kristian Huselius’ rebound goal 1:59 into the five-minute, four-on-four sudden death overtime period gave the Swedes the victory.

"We took our foot off the gas down the stretch and that cost us," said Ron Wilson, head coach of Team USA. "This is a game we’ll learn from as the tournament moves on. We did win our group and I’m proud of our guys for doing that."

Esche made 22 saves in the loss, while Gustavsson picked up with win with 39 stops.

USA 1 – 2- 2 – 0 – 5
SWE 0 – 2- 3 – 1 – 6

First Period – Scoring: 1, USA, O’Sullivan (Blake), 14:11. Penalties: SWE, Tarnstrom (tripping), 5:11; USA, Suter (cross-checking), 10:27; USA, Okposo (hooking), 14:59; SWE, Tarnstrom (interference), 16:45.

Second Period – 2, SWE, Weinhandl (Johansson, Tarnstrom), 5:07 (pp); 3, SWE, Nilson (Stralman, Andersson), 6:42; 4, USA, Liles (Johnson, O’Sullivan), 9:58 (5×3 pp); 5, USA, Shannon (Johnson, Liles), 17:26 (5×3 pp). Penalties: USA, Suter (interference), 3:09; SWE, Martensson (slashing), 8:04; SWE, Wallin (tripping), 9:48; SWE, Tarnstrom (slashing), 15:27; SWE, Andersson (delay of game), 16:04.

Third Period – 6, USA, Shannon (Stafford, Liles), 4:06; 7, USA, Johnson (Oshie, Backes), 8:20; 8, SWE, Johansson (Weinhandl, Martensson), 8:46; 9, SWE, Persson (Jonsson, Huselius), 12:45 (sh); 10, SWE, Weinhandl (Martensson), 16:19. Penalties: SWE, Akerman (hooking), 11:13.

Overtime – 11. SWE, Huselius (Persson, Johansson), 1:59. Penalties: None.

USA         13 20 11 0 — 44
SWEDEN    7 10 8 3 — 28

Goaltenders (SH/SV) 1 2 3 Total
USA, Esche 61:59 7-7 10-8 8-5 3-2 28-22
SWE, Gustavsson 61:59 13-12 20-18 11-9 0-0 44-39

Power Play: USA 2-7; SWE 1-3
Penalties: USA 3-6; SWE 7-14
Officials: Referees: Peter Orszag (SVK), Jyri Petteri Ronn (FIN); Linesmen: Ivan Dedioulia (BLR), Felix Winnekens (GER)
Attendance: 9,876