The Americans dominated at 5-on-5 and had eight power plays but came up empty handed as Swedish goalie Linus Soderstrom stopped all 46 shots he faced in a remarkable performance to lead the Swedes to a 1-0 win.
Many penalties early on as the Americans would receive a very early power play when William Lagesson took a cross-checking penalty. Not long after the Swedes killed off the early penalty, they went on a power play of their own from a Nick Schmaltz tripping penalty that really should have gone to Brock Boeser. Then, just at the end of the Schmaltz penalty, Colin White went off for hooking. The Americans would avoid disaster, however, as they killed both early penalties. After many minutes of actual hockey-playing, Marcus Pettersson took a slashing penalty that the Swedes would kill off. Near the end of the first, Alex DeBrincat goes hard into the end boards and has to go to the locker room. The period ended shortly after with some pushing and shoving but no goals in the opening frame. 17-8 was the shots on goal lead for the Americans.
After a strong start to the period by the Americans, it’s Sweden and Alexander Nylander who would score first with a nice move on the goal by the younger Nylander, 1-0. The Americans would get a chance to tie the game from Marcus Pettersson’s second penalty of the game, an interference penalty. However, it was Linus Soderstrom coming up big yet again and the Swedes held the lead and would get a great chance to extend their lead with a Nick Schmaltz hooking penalty, but the Americans kept it at a 1-0 deficit. The US would get a fifth chance on the power play after Dmytro Timashov took a high-sticking penalty. It got worse for Sweden as Andreas Englund took a dangerous boarding penalty. With their best chance of the game, it was the Linus Soderstrom show as he made a few terrific stops, highlighted by a save where he was down and out but sprawled out and robbed Louie Belpedio. Late in the second period, Auston Matthews went to the box for high sticking but the Swedes couldn’t score before the period ended and they would take the power play into the beginning of the third. The US held a ridiculous 22-8 shots on goal advantage in the second period but Linus Soderstrom shut the door.
Just as the short power play to begin the third expires, Adrian Kempe goes off for holding. Just like their previous power plays, the US would get nothing on the scoreboard and Sweden held their lead. With their eighth chance with the man advantage, an Adam Ollas Mattsson interference penalty, the Americans still could not figure out Linus Soderstrom and it remained 1-0 for Sweden. Carl Grunstrom had the best opportunity for the Swedes to that point in the third where he had a clear shot at the American net from the slot but Alex Nedeljkovic made a beautiful glove stop to keep it at a 1-0 lead for Sweden. The US nearly claim their first goal as the puck goes into the net but Scott Eansor got called for a crease violation and the goal didn’t count. With less than two minutes to go, the Americans take a too many men penalty and it got worse when Matthew Tkachuk took a terrible high sticking penalty. With those penalties, that ended the game as the Americans just could not beat Linus Soderstrom in a 1-0 Sweden win. Soderstrom and Werenski were players of the game for their teams. It was an even 7-7 in shots on goal in the third as the US doubled Sweden 46-23 in shots for the game.
With the win, Sweden has now won an incredible 34 straight games in the group stage. Their last loss was in 2006 vs. the United States in a 3-2 OT loss. There is also now the potential for a three-way tie in the group with the Americans beating Canada in their first game and now with Sweden beating the US. If those three teams win their remaining games and Canada beats Sweden, there will be a three-way tie in the group.