COLOGNE, Germany – Johnny Gaudreau (Salem, N.J./Calgary Flames/Boston College) netted two goals and J.T. Compher (Northbrook, Ill./Colorado Avalanche/University of Michigan) scored the game winner with 8:13 to play as the U.S. Men’s National Team overcame three one-goal deficits to top Sweden, 4-3, in the third preliminary round game for both teams here at the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship at LAXNESS Arena.
“I liked our resolve and calm,” said Jeff Blashill, head coach of the 2017 U.S. Men’s National Team. “We got down early, but it didn’t faze anyone. I thought Jimmy Howard was outstanding and a real key to our success. We beat a very good hockey team tonight. It’s one win, but an important one.”
Sweden opened the scoring 2:14 into play on a power-play goal by Elias Lindholm from the top of the right circle.
Team USA responded just 1:07 later on Clayton Keller’s (St. Louis, Mo./Arizona Coyotes/Boston University) fourth goal in three games. Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass./Buffalo Sabres/Boston University) fired a shot off the right pad of Victor Fasth on a two-on-one rush before Keller put home the rebound.
The Swedes regained the lead with 6:37 left in the first period on Lindholm’s second tally before Gaudreau netted a partial breakaway with 1:48 left in the opening frame to tie the game.
Just :35 after Gaudreau’s tally, Victor Hedman scored on a slap shot from the high slot to give Sweden a 3-2 advantage entering the first intermission.
Gaudreau evened the score 2:57 into the second stanza when the buried a nifty, cross-ice feed by Eichel above the right shoulder of Fasth for his second goal of the contest.
Jimmy Howard (Syracuse, N.Y./Detroit Red Wings/University of Maine) kept the game tied with 14 saves in the middle frame, including a point-blank stop on a shot by Alexander Edler in the final minute of the period.
Howard continued his strong play to help Team USA kill off a pair of Swedish power plays in the first eight minutes of the final period.
Compher redirected a shot from the top of the right circle by Connor Murphy (Dublin, Ohio/Arizona Coyotes) for the game-winning goal with 8:13 to play.
Howard earned the victory with 39 saves.
Team USA (2-0-0-1; W-OTW-OTL-L) returns to action Wednesday (May 10) at 10:15 a.m. ET versus Italy (Live on NBC Sports Network; live stream on NBC Sports app and at NBCSports.com).
NOTES: Johnny Gaudreau was named U.S. Player of the Game … Team USA was outshot by Sweden, 42-27 … The U.S. was 0-for-3 on the power play, while Sweden finished 1-for-6 ... Team USA played the final 59:00 of the game without Nick Schmaltz, who left the game after a hit from Gabriel Landeskog less than a minute into the contest … For complete game stats, click here … Tonight’s contest marked the first matchup between the two countries since 2011 and first U.S. win over Sweden since May 8, 2005 … NHL Network’s live game schedule for the IIHF Men's World Championship is available here ... The official online home of the 2017 IIHF Men’s World Championship is IIHFWorlds2017.com … Join the conversation using #2017MWC.
|May 2||Italy (exh.)||W, 5-2||Agora Arena||Milan, Italy|
|May 5||Germany||L, 1-2||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|
|May 7||Denmark||W, 7-2||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|
|May 8||Sweden||W, 4-3||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|
|May 10||Italy||W, 3-0||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|
|May 13||Latvia||W, 5-3||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|
|May 14||Slovakia||W, 6-1||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|
|May 16||Russia||W, 5-3||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|
|May 18||Finland (quarterfinal)||L, 0-2||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|