Canada dominates Sweden
Canada dominates Sweden
Face USA in SF rematch
Mark Scheifele’s first period goal was all Canada would need for the win. Mark Stone added a goal and two assists.
With the win, Canada advances to the semi-final against the United States. Three of the four semi-finalists are from Group B that played in St. Petersburg.
This is Sweden's most lopsided loss in World Championship quarter-finals history since the IIHF instituted the playoff system in 1992.
"They scored six goals. It’s hard to say," Johan Fransson said after the loss. "We didn’t score and had a couple of good scoring chances. But they scored six goals.
"We didn’t play our best hockey. It’s a tough moment right now."
Canada recovered from its first loss of the tournament against Finland in the final game of the Preliminary Round. They took the play to Sweden putting 12 shots on goal in the first period.
"We were all disappointed in our play in the Finland game, but we knew that it really meant nothing," Matt Dumba said. "We were still going to have to play three games. We had to take care of business against the Swedes. Unfortunate for them that we played a great game tonight. They played us hard for the first bit. We were just overbearing and imposed our will on them."
Scheifele scored for Canada at 18:39 of the first period when he tipped Ryan O’Reilly’s point shot. The deflected puck hit the right goal post and rang in for Scheifele’s fourth of the World Championship.
Sweden lost Andre Burakovsky for much of the second period when he was called for checking to the head and neck and also assessed a ten-minute misconduct as a result. This led to a power play goal by Dumba at 6:05. Dumba sent a rocket of a slapshot high and past Markstrom's glove side.
Six minutes later, Dumba sent another slapshot, this one went wide but took a lively bounce off the backboards and in front of Sweden’s net where Brad Marchand was there to slip one in.
With the game getting away from his team, Swedish head coach Par Marts called a time-out to try and settle his players down. That clearly did not work as Canada came back to score eleven seconds later.
After the time-out and off the face-off, Max Domi scored for Canada at 12:13. Anton Lindholm could not handle the puck in the neutral zone, allowing Sam Reinhart to gain possession as a two-on-one unfolded. With Lindholm in the neutral zone, Mattias Ekholm was alone to manage the play. Reinhart’s pass to Domi was deposited in the back on the net for the youngster’s first of the tournament.
Sweden came out in the final twenty minutes looking to solve Cam Talbot and had some of their best scoring chances of the game.
Twenty-three seconds into the period, Mikael Backlund had an opportunity that Talbot was just able to get his pad out and keep out. Martin Lundberg took a Linus Klasen pass and backhanded it on goal but again Talbot was there. On the evening, Talbot stopped all 24 shots he faced.
"He really wanted to bounce back and have a great game," Morgan Reilly said of Talbot. "Not that he was a problem last game – as a team, we have to be better than we were against Finland – but tonight he was great. He made a couple of huge stops early on. There was one play with the glove, and I think when he made that save, you could tell he was sharp. That goes a long way on the bench. When you can tell your goalie is playing that well, it gives the guys confidence."
When Brendan Gallagher and Morgan Reilly were sent off to serve penalties at 5:17 and 5:25 respectively, Sweden would have a two-man advantage with which to work. Desperate to jumpstart their offence, Sweden pulled Markstrom for another skater. Despite the six-on-four, Sweden could not convert.
"We needed to score a goal, that’s why. We had a 5-on-4, so why not?" Marts said of the move. "We tried, but we weren’t good enough. We couldn’t handle one-on-one situations well enough, and we lost the game."
Despite having the second ranked power play at this World Championship, Sweden could not get anything going with their special teams.
Canada added two more in the third period. A poor pass from Adam Larsson was intercepted in front of the Sweden net by Stone to make it 5-0. Derick Brassard scored at 13:22 of the third for his team's sixth goal.
Saturday's semi-final between the Americans and Canadians will be a battle of North America. Canada defeated Team USA 5-1 in the opening game of the World Championship in St. Petersburg on 6th May.
"They’re playing a lot better than they were at the start of the tournament and we are too," Brendan Gallagher said. "It’ll be a different game. They’re going to come out hard. They played really good. We watched a little bit of the game against the Czechs. They had a really good game. We need to focus on ourselves and do what we need to do to be successful and hopefully we can win."
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