A showdown was set between Canada and Sweden in the quarterfinal game. The two teams have met 17 times in the Olympics. The last meeting was at the 2014 Sochi Games, when Canada defeated Sweden 3-0.
Defense was on full display as the score was 0-0 through the first 40 minutes of play. As the game entered the third period, It was clear it would come down to one mistake or one opportunity for a team. That’s exactly what happened, Lucas Wallmark took advantage of a bad turnover to give Sweden the 1-0 lead. Sweden would tack on an empty-netter and shut out Canada for the 2-0 win. They’ll advance to the semifinal game against ROC.
It was clear from the start that it would be a fast-paced and hard-hitting game. Canadas Jack McBain laid a huge hit on Jonathan Pudas. Sweden would go to the power play, but Canada would successfully kill it off.
About halfway through the scoreless period, Sweden’s Joakim Nordstrom was called for interference giving Canada’s second-ranked power play a chance to go to work. Sweden’s penalty kill was ranked the worst of the tournament at 60%. Lars Johansson was hammered in net, he stood tall saving everything that came his way.
The story of the first period was elite level end-to-end action. The fast-paced first period ended in a 0-0 score at the break. Matt Tomkins had 10 saves while Johansson had eight.
Anton Lander had the two best chances for Sweden in the second period. However, Tomkins again didn’t give anything. Shots again were about equal heading into the break. Sweden had the slight edge with 18 and Canada finishing with 17.
The first two periods were even, but Sweden dominated the first half of the third period. Canada had its first shot at 9:25 in the period.
Right after Canada finally had its first shot, Sweden capitalized on a mistake. Canada turned over the puck just inside the blue line with a back pass. McBain’s drop pass to Eric O’Dell found Wallmark instead, who stick handled the puck nicely before burying it past Thomas. Sweden took the large 1-0 lead.
It’d be a long 10 minutes for Sweden to protect their lead. Sweden’s defense dominated all game long and the final minutes were no different. Canada would mount a strong attack around the three-minute mark, but it was too little too late. Sweden’s defense cleared the puck to Lander behind the play, who buried the empty-netter with 1:50 to go, sealing 2-0 victory and Sweden’s ticket to the semifinals.
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