Worlds: USA Wins Bronze Medal; Swiss Win Silver in Epic Contest with Swedes

The medal round lived up to everything it should have in the 2018 IIHF World Championships. The US won bronze over Canada following a third period scoring outburst and the Swedes successfully defended their gold medal by beating the Swiss in a game that went to a shootout to decide a winner.

First, the bronze medal game. The Americans took on Canada and came away with the third place finish, winning 4-1.

Following a scoreless first, the US got on the board first with a power play goal 6:40 into the second period. Joel Edmundson went off for roughing at the 5:14 mark, almost immediately after Canada’s Ryan Murray had come out of the box following a cross checking minor. Chris Kreider scored for the Americans off assists to Dylan Larkin and Alex Debrincat. It was 1-0 US.

But Canada would get the equalizer with just under two minutes remaining in the second. Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored from Bo Horvat and Kyle Turris. It was now 1-1 going into the third and it seemed as if we had a real game on our hands.

But the final frame would belong to the Americans and it was again a lack of discipline by the Canadians that would make it so. The game was still tied when at 12:29, Ryan O’Reilly took an interference call. On the ensuing American power play, Nick Bonino scored from Patrick Kane to break the stalemate and put the US up 2-1. That would prove to be the game winner.

Canada pulled goaltender Curtis McElhinney for the extra attacker at 16:58 and Anders Lee scored into the empty net from Charlie McAvoy at 17:45. It was 3-1 USA with time running out for the Canadians.

McElhinney was pulled again at the 17:55 mark and again the US scored into the vacated cage. This time Kreider notched his second of the game unassisted at 18:18. That made it 4-1 and that was your final. The US claimed bronze in the tournament, winning a medal following a great start. Canada finishes fourth.

Keith Kinkaid made 24 saves on 25 Canadian shots in the winning effort while McElhinney stopped 33 of 37 American shots.

Will Butcher had four shots on goal and was an even plus/minus in 19:39 of time on ice over 29 shifts. Blake Coleman was an even plus/minus in 11:49 over 21 shifts. Brian Gibbons did not dress for the game.

Meanwhile, the later game at Copenhagen’s Royal Arena was to decide the first and second place finishers. It was underdog Switzerland versus the undefeated Team Sweden. It was a tall order for the Swiss, but one that they would be up to.

The Swiss got on the board first when Nino Niederreiter scored at the 16:38 mark of the first period. He got assists from Roman Josi and Kevin Fiala.

But that lead would last less than a minute, as at the 17:54 mark of the first, Gustav Nyquist scored from Mattias Ekholm to knot things up at one going into the first intermission.

But Nyquist would play a role in the Swiss retaking the lead. Just 1:23 into the second frame, he took a two minute high sticking penalty and Timo Meier scored from Enzo Corvi and Josi on the resulting power play. That goal came at 3:13 and gave the Swiss the 2-1 lead.

But Sweden would return the favor on their own power play late in the second. At 13:56, Corvi took a holding penalty and Mika Zibanejad made Switzerland pay. He scored from Oliver Ekman-Larsson to tie things at two. And that was it for the scoring in regulation and overtime.

Switzerland and Sweden played through 20 minutes of the third with no more scoring and five minutes of the OT period with no one breaking the stalemate. And so it would take a shootout to decide who got gold and who got silver.

Sven Andrighetto kicked things off by scoring on Swedish goaltender Anders Nilsson to give the Swiss the lead in the shootout. Zibanejad then missed his shot and Kevin Fiala was topped by Nilsson. Swiss goalie Leonardo Genoni stopped Rickard Rakell on Sweden’s next attempt. Corvi was stopped on his try and then Sweden would finally get one through. Ekman-Larsson beat Genoni on his try to tie up the shootout. Gaetan Haas missed his try and Filip Forsberg converted on his to put Sweden ahead. Swiss survival was on the stick of the game’s first goal scorer, Niederreiter. But Nilsson stopped him and the Swedes claimed gold.

Sweden won 3-2 and the Swiss took home the silver. Genoni made 35 saves on 38 Swedish shots while Nilsson stopped 25 of 27 Swiss shots on net.

Mirco Mueller had two shots on goal and was a minus-1 in 28:58 of ice time over 41 shifts.

Congratulations to all of the teams, and in particular, the Swiss. They played extremely well in this tournament. They definitely showed that they belonged and made some upsets along the way. We will see you here back tomorrow as we cover the Swift Current Broncos and the Hamilton Bulldogs in the Memorial Cup round robin tournament.

Worlds: USA To Play For Bronze; Switzerland To Play For Gold

The United States will face Canada for the Bronze medal while Switzerland is guaranteed a medal playing in the gold medal game.

The Americans were humiliated 6-0 by the powerhouse Swedes in their semifinal game. The Swiss meanwhile, upset the Canadians 3-2 to move on in their semifinal. The finals are set with USA and Canada meeting again for bronze while Switzerland will face Sweden in the gold medal game.

First, the US game. This one was a rout, plain and simple, as Keith Kinkaid and the Americans just ran into the buzzsaw that is the Swedish team.

Viktor Arvidsson got the scoring kicked off at the 14:43 mark of the first when he beat Kinkaid off assists from Jacob de la Rose and Filip Forsberg. That made it 1-0 Sweden and they never looked back.

Kinkaid took a tripping penalty at the 17:32 mark of the first that was killed off. But the US, strangely, had more trouble on the power play. Just 3:36 into the second, former Devil Adam Larsson took a double minor for high sticking, setting up a four minute power play for the Americans. Instead, at 7:09, Magnus Paajarvi scored shorthanded from Mikael Backlund. It was now 2-0 Sweden.

And it continued. At 9:11, Johnny Gaudreau took a frustrated slashing penalty which set Sweden up on the power play. Patric Hornqvist converted on that from Backlund and John Klingberg. Now it was 3-0 Sweden.

Mattias Janmark made it 4-0 before the end of the second when he scored at 10:16 from Rickard Rakell.

With a little bit less than ten minutes left in the game, the US desperately pulled Kinkaid to try to get something going. Arvidsson ended up scoring his second of the game into an empty net. Mika Zibanejad had the lone assist.

Adrian Kempe would add insult to injury by scoring the sixth and final Swedish goal at even strength to put things away with just under three minutes left in the contest. Backlund racked up another point with the lone assist.

The US would end the game on the power play when, at 18:42, Kempe and Dylan Larkin went off for coincidental roughing minors. However, with ten seconds remaining, Backlund was called for slashing to put the US up a man, 4-on-3. Unfortunately, that was not enough and 6-0 was your final.

Kinkaid stopped 14 of 20 shots on goal while Swedish goalie Anders Nilsson was a perfect 41-for-41.

Will Butcher had a shot on goal and was a minus-2 in 20:32 of ice time spread over 27 shifts. Blake Coleman had a single shot on goal and was an even rating in 13:46 of ice time over 20 shifts. Brian Gibbons did not dress for this game.

So the US will now play for the bronze medal against rivals Canada tomorrow due to the results of the next game.

That game was Switzerland versus Canada in the other semifinal. And, as opposed to the US-Sweden game, this one was a real nailbiter.

The Swiss jumped out to the early 1-0 lead when Tristan Scherwey scored from Ramon Untersander and Dean Kukan. Canada found themselves down early, and it would take seven minutes and twenty seconds into the second frame for them to tie things. Bo Horvat got it even from Pierre-Luc Dubois and Jean-Gabriel Pageau.

However, less than a minute after Horvat tied things, some miscommunication between Canadian goalie Darcy Kuemper and Joel Edmundson led to Edmundson taking a hooking penalty behind the Canadian net. Switzerland was now on the power play and it was Gregory Hofmann who converted here. He scored from Kevin Fiala and Sven Andrighetto to give Switzerland back the lead, 2-1 at 9:40 of the second period.

And that is how things would stay until the third when Canada got into more penalty trouble. Just 3:11 into the third stanza, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins took a hooking penalty that led to a Gaetan Haas goal (assists to Andrighetto and Raphael Diaz) to put the Swiss up by two, 3-1.

Canada would make things interesting late in the third. At 13:51, Noah Rod was called for slashing, putting Canada up a man. When that was killed off, and with less than three minutes left in the game, the Canadians pulled Kuemper to make it a 6-on-5 and with 33 seconds elapsed with the extra man, Colton Parayko cut the Swiss lead to one when he scored from Connor McDavid and Brayden Schenn.

Canada would try pulling Kuemper again, but to no avail. Swiss goaltender Leonardo Genoni withstood 45 Canadian shots, making 43 saves and held on for the win. Kuemper made 14 saves on 17 Swiss shots. Genoni was amazing, keeping the Swiss in the game in the face of a flurry of Canadian offense – most of the third period, in particular, was played in the Swiss zone.

Mirco Mueller was an even plus/minus in 19:55 of ice time over 33 shifts. He was also named one of the three outstanding players for the Swiss for the tournament.

Next up, the Swiss get the undefeated Swedes in the gold medal game. They are guaranteed a medal, as they get the silver should they lose. That game will be played tomorrow. It should be a good game as the Swiss have been the story of the tournament and could give the Swedes a run for their money. We will see you tomorrow with all of the action.