WJC: Sweden 5 Canada 2

The opponents for the playoff rounds were already determined before this game, but the Canadians needed a victory just for the sake of confidence.

For the first time in 18 years, the Canucks lost 2 games in the preliminary round. On the flip side, the Swedes won their pool for the ninth consecutive year and it was their 36th consecutive preliminary round victory.

Canada will now go on to face Finland in the playoff round while Sweden faces Slovakia – the squad that beat them last year for Bronze. The United States will meet the Czech Republic while Russia takes on Denmark. Belarus and Switzerland will battle it out in the relegation round.

Gustav Forsling was named player of the game for Sweden while Travis Konecny was picked as Canada’s player of the game. William Nylander sat out another game for Sweden, and why not? This was a meaningless game for the Swedes and they prevailed anyway.

Alexander Nylander would get the Swedes on the board first with a powerplay goal 4:37 into the period. Rasmus Asplund ripped a shot from the left circle. Mackenzie Blackwood kicked out a rebound that found its way to Nylander. The slick Swede would slide it past Blackwood’s skate.

Again on a powerplay, the Swedes would go up 2-0. Forsling would rip a wrister from the left faceoff circle past Blackwood’s glove at the 7:08 mark.

Canada would get some life at 15:51. Thomas Chabot fired a shot from the point that was stopped by Sweden’s goaltender Linus Soderstrom. Mitchell Stephens dashed towards the rebound and knocked in the rebound.

Axel Holmstrom sent a beautiful pass from behind the goal to Adrian Kempe in the right faceoff circle who got it off his blade immediately and beat Blackwood at 13:38 of the second for a 3-1 lead.

With 7:09 gone in the third period, Sweden would go up 4-1 when Anton Karlsson would put a backhander behind Blackwood as he was falling.

Canada got a little life when Mitch Marner scored on a 5 on 3 powerplay with 5:50 remaining. But that’s as close as they would get. Asplund would add an empty netter with 11 seconds remaining.

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