TAMPERE, Finland – Adam Gaudette (Braintree, Mass.) scored with 12 seconds left in overtime to lift the U.S. Men’s National Team to a 3-2 win over Group B-leading Sweden here today in preliminary round play at the 2022 IIHF Men’s World Championship.
“We grew as the game went along and I give our guys a lot of credit,” said David Quinn, head coach of the 2022 U.S. Men’s National Team. “We stayed disciplined and our special teams and goaltending were really good. That was an important win against a very good team. We’ll enjoy it, get some rest and be ready for Czechia on Monday.”
Sweden jumped out to the lead just 2:28 into the game, but the U.S. pushed forward and nearly tied things up 4:53 into the frame as Gaudette snuck his way into the offensive zone and sent a difficult shot for Swedish netminder Linus Ullmark to handle. Gaudette did even the game at 7:50. After Andrew Peeke (Parkland, Fla.) tapped a pass off the boards, Ben Meyers (Delano, Minn.) knocked it towards the blade of Gaudette who was waiting at the top of the faceoff circle and fired it top shelf.
U.S. netminder Jeremy Swayman (Anchorage, Alaska) made a save in tight on Sweden’s first quality chance 7:37 into the second. Moments later, Sweden appeared to take the lead off a two-on-one opportunity, but a successful coaches challenge from the U.S. confirmed the play was offside. Halfway through the second, Swayman made a pair of tough saves at the crease on the penalty kill, followed by one more mere seconds after the penalty ended.
Team USA had a late power play and Nate Schmidt (St. Cloud, Minn.) scored with 1:02 left in the stanza from the side of the circle to finish a nice passing play that included Gaudette and T.J. Tynan (Orland Park, Ill.), who arrived late last night and was in the lineup for the first time.
Kieffer Bellows (Edina, Minn.) was denied on a breakaway as he attempted to give the U.S. a two-goal advantage just over six minutes into the third period, and less than a minute later Sweden tied the game, taking advantage of a broken stick mishap that contributed to Carl Grundstrom’s tally. With Sweden on the power play with 6:45 to play, it was the U.S. that had perhaps the best scoring chance as Karson Kuhlman (Esko, Minn.) utilized his speed and skated alongside Sam Lafferty (Hollidaysburg, Pa.) to create an odd-man rush, but was ultimately stopped by Ullmark. Play went back-and-forth for the remainder of regulation and the game went to a five-minute 3-on-3 overtime.
Sean Farrell (Hopkinson, Mass.) had a great look on net in the extra session, but Ullmark stretched out for the pad save. Gaudette proved to be the hero on a nice feed across from Tynan to give the U.S. an important two points.
Team USA returns to the ice Monday against Czechia at 4:20 p.m. (9:20 a.m. ET). The game can be seen live on NHL Network.
NOTES: Adam Gaudette (Braintree, Mass.), who had 2-1---3, was named U.S. Player of the Game … The U.S. outshot Sweden, 24-22 … Team USA was 1-for-3 on the power play, while Sweden was 0-for-3… For more information about the 2022 IIHF Men’s World Championship, click here.