A lack of defensive effort against a high-octane offensive team is never a recipe for success.

Sweden discovered that the hard way in Tuesday afternoon’s 2016 World Juniors bronze medal game, as Tre Kronor were destroyed 8-3 by a powerful US team. Anders Bjork, Matt Tkachuk, and Ryan Donato netted a combined six goals for the Americans, whose dominating second period effort exposed Sweden’s sloppy defence.

The Americans drew first blood at 11:59 of the first period, when Anders Bjork tapped a loose puck in the crease past a helpless Soderstrom. Matt Tkachuk doubled the US lead at 15:32, when he tipped a Zach Werenski shot from the point past Soderstrom blocker-side.

Conceding the second goal seemed to jolt the Swedes to life; they were outshot 7-2 up until Tkachuk’s goal, and peppered Nedeljkovic for nine shots in the final four-ish minutes. William Lagesson and Carl Grundstrom scored less than a minute apart (17:39 and 18:34 respectively) to draw Tre Konor level.

The second period was one-way traffic as Sweden’s defence, “mailed it in,” in the words of TSN colour commentator Ray Ferraro. Brock Boeser and Ryan Donato scored less than two minutes apart early in the middle frame to give the States the lead, and similarly-spaced goals from Anders Bjork and Brandon Carlo — both beauties — pushed it to 6-2.

Goals from Ryan Donato and Matt Tkachuk pushed the score to 8-2 in a third period that was actually dominated by the Swedes, who picked up a late consolation goal via Axel Holmstrom in the final moments. Not that it mattered.

Surprisingly, Swedish coach Rikard Gronborg opted not to lift young back Felix Sandstrom, who surrendered eight goals on just 25 shots.

Tre Kronor were embarrassed on Tuesday; they played with no passion, minimal defensive effort, and were rightfully dispatched by the high-octane Americans.

From the stars ‘n’ stripes point of view, bronze is certainly not the new gold, and Ron Wilson will certainly not be back. As a coach, your job is to prepare your team as best as possible to succeed.

What a guy. I for one am glad that this one-sided farce of a bronze medal game is over.

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