With yesterday's 5-2 win against the Czech Republic, the U.S. sits atop the Group B standings with nine points and has clinched a spot in Thursday’s (April 20) quarterfinals. Today's final preliminary round game with Sweden will determine the top seed from Group B. The game is slated for 3:30 p.m. local (9:30 a.m. ET) and will be shown live on NHL Network.
Matchup vs. Sweden: Sweden is coming off a rest day. In its last game, Sweden escaped with a 3-2 victory against Belarus on Saturday (April 15) after scoring the game-winning goal with only 12 seconds remaining. Prior to that, Sweden defeated the Czech Republic 3-2 on Friday (April 14) and fell 3-1 in its opener to Russia on Thursday (April 13).
Sweden has had a balanced attack in the tournament to this point, with five players registering two points. David Gustafsson leads the team with two goals. Olle Eriksson Ek and Adam Ahman have split time in goal.
The U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team has split its matchups with Sweden during the 2016-17 season. In November, the U.S. fell to Sweden 2-1 at the 2016 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament in Plymouth, Michigan. In the 2017 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament in Sundsvall, Sweden, the U.S. earned a 5-4 (OT, SO) victory thanks to a game-tying goal with under three seconds remaining in regulation and a pair of shootout goals by Josh Norris (Oxford, Mich.). The victory earned the U.S. its second 5 Nations Tournament championship of the season.
All-Time vs. Sweden: The United States and Czech Republic are meeting for the 16th time in IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship history. The U.S. owns an all-time record of 11-1-0-2-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T) against Sweden. The U.S. has outscored the Sweden 66-30 all-time. The two teams last met in a preliminary round matchup on April 14, 2016 in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The U.S. sailed to a 6-1 victory.
The last medal round matchup between the two countries came on April 22, 2012, when the U.S. shutout Sweden 7-0 to earn its seventh gold medal. Nicolas Kerdiles (Irvine, Calif.) had two goals and three assists, and Collin Olson (Apple Valley, Minn.) stopped all 27 shots he faced, as Team USA captured its fourth straight gold medal in the tournament.
|April 7||Exhibition vs. Belarus||W, 5-2||Hodonin, Czech Republic|
|April 10||Exhibition vs. Finland||W, 5-2||ZS Spisska Nova Ves|
|April 13||Belarus||W, 7-0||ZS Spisska Nova Ves||NHL Network|
|April 15||Russia||W, 5-4||ZS Spisska Nova Ves||NHL Network|
|April 17||Czech Republic||W, 5-2||ZS Spisska Nova Ves||NHL Network|
|April 18||Sweden||3:30 p.m. / 9:30 a.m.||ZS Spisska Nova Ves||NHL Network|
|April 20||Quarterfinals||TBD||TBD||NHL Network|
|April 22||Semifinals||TBD||ZS Poprad||NHL Network|
|April 23||Gold Medal Game||7:30 p.m. / 1:30 p.m.||ZS Poprad||NHL Network|
|Bronze Medal Game||3:30 p.m. / 9:30 a.m.||ZS Poprad||NHL Network|