TAMPERE, Finland – The U.S. Men’s National Team will play its seventh and final preliminary round game of the 2023 IIHF Men’s World Championship here Tuesday (May 23) against Sweden. Opening faceoff is set for 4:20 p.m. local/9:20 a.m. ET and the game can be seen live on NHL Network in the U.S.
The contest is a battle of the top two teams in Group A and the winner will earn the first place in the Group and face the fourth-place team from Group B in Thursday’s (May 25) quarterfinals. The loser will finish second in the group and take on the third-place team in Group B in the quarters.
Sweden has had the upper hand in the all-time series, having won 38 of the 55 games played, however, the U.S. has won two of the last three meetings, including a 3-2 overtime victory in last year’s preliminary round where Adam Gaudette scored the game-winner with :12 left in the extra session.
Sweden faced Denmark on Monday (May 22) and gained a 4-1 victory. The Swedes, who have allowed just three goals in the tournament, are 5-1-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) and trail the U.S. by a single point with one game remaining in the preliminary round.
The U.S., which has only allowed five total goals through six games, has two of the top goaltenders in the tournament Casey DeSmith and Cal Petersen. Both are 3-0 in the tournament with DeSmith having a 1.00 goals-against average and .962 save percentage, while Petersen has a 0.72 GAA and .956 save percentage.