The Americans have finished their round robin while Sweden has one more game, tomorrow, against Germany. That result won’t be able to take the Swedes up to first spot and they will have to defend second place – and a quarter-final match-up with the other group’s third-place team, Latvia – against the Germans.
"We just continue to be consistent, intense, play hard, do the little things right," said Matt Coronato, who scored twice for the winners. "We knew this was a huge game; they're a great team. We came out and did what we needed to do. All our guys contributed."
"We could have played better today," acknowledged Sweden's Fabian Lysell. "We've got to bounce back tomorrow. We didn't find our rhythm tonight. They were tight on us, especially on our breakouts. They pinched hard. We had a hard time making those passes to get out. We can play better. I'm not worried."
Sweden had plenty of territorial play but didn’t have many good chances. When they did, Kaidan Mbereko was right there. Sweden’s best chance came late in the period when Emil Andrae faked a shot, then fired a bullet that pinged off the crossbar but stayed out.
Sweden started the second on a power play but could muster nothing that the U.S. PK couldn’t handle. The Americans doubled their lead at 5:37 on a goal similar to their first. This time Logan Cooley took a weak shot that Wallstedt couldn’t smother, and Coronato jammed it in for his third goal of the tournament.
Sweden’s best chance came midway through when Daniel Torgersson had a partial break, but Mbereko, who is now 2-0 this year, stared him down from well outside his crease and made a shoulder save.
Coronato scored his second of the game at 5:26 of the final period, taking a nice pass from Landon Slaggert in traffic and wiring a quick shot over the glove of Wallstedt.
Sweden got that one back at 11:38 courtesy of their captain, Andrae. His quick shot form the high slot went off Mbereko's glove and rolled over the line, giving the Swedes a bit of life going into the final few minutes.
Indeed, coach Tomas Monten pulled Wallstedt in the final two minutes and the Americans took a delay of game penalty. On the ensuing six-on-four the Swedes buzzed around the U.S. goal. Finally, Andrae took a hard shot that Mbereko bobbled, and Ake Stakkestad smacked it high into the top of the net at 18:45 to bring the game to within a goal, and a man advantage still in play with Wallstedt on the bench.
The U.S. withstood that final push from Sweden, however, and emerged winners of the game and the group. They now have two days off to preprare for the Czechs.