Sweden “Upsets” Canada at Hlinka Memorial
After being upset themselves by Switzerland on Monday, Sweden turned the tables and defeated Canada 4-3 on Tuesday at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Sweden controlled the game for the better part of the first two periods until Canada put up a challenge in the third.
Canada got on the board first at the 3:14 mark when Brendan Lemieux (Barrie) won a puck battle along the boards and fed the puck in front to Jared McCann (Soo Greyhounds) who scored on a nifty backhand to put Canada up 1-0. Daniel Audette (Sherbrooke) picked up the other assist.
Sweden began to take control of the game from there and at the 6:17 mark of the period Robin Kovacs skated over the Canadian blue line and fired a perfect wrister inside the post to tie the game at one. Daniel Muzito Bagenda picked up the assist.
Less than two minutes later at 8:07, Kevin Elgestal scored off a mad scramble in front when Canada couldn’t clear the front of the goal. Goaltender Julio Billia was down and out after making the initial save and Elgestal fired it top shelf. Dmytro Timashov picked up the assist and the period would end with Sweden up 2-1.
The second period saw the game turn into a somewhat chippy affair with seven minor penalties called. Sweden scored the only goal of the period and that came off the stick of Kevin Elgestal just 1:01 into the frame. It was an unassisted goal.
The chippiness carried into the third and helped Canada get some momentum. The Kingston Frontenacs connection pulled Canada within one when Sam Bennett scored with the set up from Spencer Watson 3:54 into the period. That lead would last just over two minutes as Michael Nylander would score on the powerplay with the assist going to Anton Karlsson. Watson from Bennett and Jake Virtanen would close the gap less than two minutes later but that’s how the scoring would end.
In other action the United States beat Russia 4-2, Finland defeated Slovakia 5-1 and the Czech Republic topped Switzerland 4-3 in a shootout.
Switzerland now leads Group A with 4 points followed by Canada and Sweden with 3 and the Czech Republic with 2. Finland leads Group B with 5 points followed by the US with 4, Russia with 3 and Slovakia yet to earn a point.
On Wednesday, Russia faces Finland, Canada takes on Switzerland, Slovakia will take on the US and the Czech Republic meets Sweden.