Germany was close for most of the game, but the favoured squad from Sweden would be good enough to finish with the 4-3 victory on Thursday.
The game featured a great pace very early on, with both teams getting solid scoring chances early. Timo Pielmeier was the busiest guy on the ice, making six saves in the first half of the game.
But in the first half, that’s all there really was. In something you don’t see everyday, the glass above the door where the Zamboni comes out was damaged during a delay, resulting in a delay that would last nearly 30 minutes.
Once the game returned, and all the momentum by the Germans was lost, the Swedes would grab the 1-0 lead. After the team managed to get the puck on net, Patrick Köppchen kicked the puck right to Oscar Moller, who knocked in the rebound home from close range to score with nine minutes left in the first.
A minute and a half later, the Swedes would pot another. This time, it would be former NHLer Joakim Lindstrom who would find the back of the net after an incredible wrist shot over Pielmeier to make it 2-0. Earlier in the tournament, it was announced that Lindstrom would be leaving the Toronto Maple Leafs for the KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg for the upcoming season, posting three points in the meantime.
With five minutes left in the period, the Germans would capitalize on some previous momentum to bring themselves within one. With the team on the power-play, Tobias Rieder would fire a shot towards Jhonas Enroth’s glove hand, a shot he’d fumble in the crease. Marcus Kink would be right there to scoop up the puck, putting one past the Dallas Stars netminder to make it 2-1 late in the period.
The Swedes had a scary moment late in the first. With Matthias Ekholm making a pass to a winger along the boards, Stephan Daschner came in fast and crushed Ekholm with elbow to the head. Daschner was ejected from game and will likely face a suspension, while Ekholm would get in a pool of blood after a short wait.
The Germans were pouring on the pressure in the second, and with the period half over, they would finally tie the game up. Nicolas Krammer would get the goal on the breakaway, deking Enroth out after blowing by Filip Forsberg and John Klingberg to score on the backhand. It was the only goal of the middle frame, as some quality goaltending by both Enroth and Pielmeier made it impossible for anybody to really get anything done offensively, despite the great action at both ends.
Sweden has a tendency to allow games to get too close for their comfort, so an early goal in the third was in their plans. They would achieve that mark when Staffan Kronwall, a former Toronto Maple Leafs prospect and brother of Niklas, took a shot from the point, only to have John Klingberg score with as good of a tip as you’ll ever see to make it 3-2 Tre Kronor.
Without about ten minutes left, the Swedes started to really put on the pressure. The team did a great job of winning puck battles along the boards all day, and Moller’s performance was indicitave of it. The former LA Kings prospect would steal the puck just inside the zone, beating Marcus Kink with the quick deke. Seconds later, Moller would grab his fourth point of the night as his wrist shot had no chance of getting stopped by Pielmeier, making it 4-2 Swedes.
Think the Germans were going to let this all go away? Think again. With six to go, Matthias Plachta made a sweet little move past a diving Filip Forsberg, wiring it by Enroth to make it 4-3. The goal would spark a strong end for the Germans, but at the end, it wasn’t enough to fully scare Sweden as the Tre Kronor would finish with the 4-3 victory.
With the win, Sweden will move within a single point behind Canada, sitting at 11 points despite playing an extra game. Sweden will only have two more games left to play in the tournament, with victories against Switzerland and France expected over the next few days. Germany will have three more games after today, with a meeting against Latvia set for tomorrow afternoon at 2:15pm EST.
Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.