The U.S. Men's National Team meets Sweden tonight in its semifinal game of the 2018 IIHF Men's World Championship here in Copenhagen, Denmark. Puck drop is set for 3:15 p.m. local time (9:15 a.m. ET) at the Royal Arena and will be televised live in the U.S. exclusively on NHL Network.
This is the 54th meeting between the U.S. and Sweden. Tonight's winner will face the Canada-Switzerland semifinal winner in tomorrow night's gold medal game while the two losing teams will play for the bronze medal tomorrow afternoon.
ARRIVAL IN COPENHAGEN
After 19 days in Herning, Denmark, the U.S. Men's National Team made the move to Copenhagen yesterday morning. The team's three-hour bus ride was followed by an early afternoon practice at Royal Arena, which was Team USA's first time on the ice here. Following practice, players and head coach Jeff Blashill (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.) took part in media availability.
Blashill on U.S. seeking its first gold since 1933: "We have no problem acknowledging it. All that matters is what this group plays like tomorrow. It's a heck of a group and I can't think of a better group to coach to come to this opportunity."
ROSTER SPOTLIGHT: MURPHY VS. SWEDEN
U.S. alternate captain Connor Murphy (Dublin, Ohio) is seeking his third-straight victory against Sweden in an IIHF playoff game. In 2011, Murphy scored twice, including the game-winner at 6:06 of the overtime period, to lead the U.S. to a gold medal win over Sweden, 4-3, at the 2011 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship in Crimmitschau, Germany. Murphy, who had three points in the game (2-1), was named the U.S. Player of the Game. Two years later at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, Murphy and Team USA again met Sweden in a gold medal game where the U.S. skated to a 3-1 win in Ufa, Russia.