TAMPERE, Finland – Defenseman Dylan Samberg (Hermantown, Minn.) scored 1:37 into overtime to lift the U.S. Men’s National Team to a 4-3 overtime win over Sweden in its seventh and final preliminary round game here today at the 2023 IIHF Men’s World Championship.
With the victory the U.S. earned the top spot in Group A, and for the first time ever went undefeated in the preliminary round. The U.S. will play Czechia in Thursday’s quarterfinals in Tampere, Finland, with opening faceoff set for 4:20 p.m. local time/9:20 a.m. ET. The game can be seen live on NHL Network.
“We played a terrific game against an outstanding team and I’m really proud of our effort,” said David Quinn, head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team. “We won seven games in the preliminary round and did it seven different ways. It shifts to one and done now and we’ll re-focus and be ready for our quarterfinal opponent on Thursday.”
Sweden opened the scoring on the power play as Leo Carlsson converted on a 5-on-3 from the right circle 9:10 into the first period.
Team USA evened the game on a power play of its own with 3:11 left in the opening stanza after T.J. Tynan (Orland Park, Ill.) picked up the puck behind the net off a wide shot and dished it to Cutter Gauthier (Scottsdale, Ariz.) along the boards. Gauthier found captain Nick Bonino (Unionville, Conn.) with a behind-the-back pass and he went five-hole from the right circle.
An eventful opening period featured seven power play chances, including 5-on-3 opportunities for both squads. Sweden had the first six shots on goal in the game and the U.S. did not register its first shot until a 5-on-3 chance midway through the stanza and then had seven straight shots on goal. Each team finished the opening 20 minutes with nine shots on net.
Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.), who made 23 saves in the game, made a big stop on Carlsson just past the 12-minute mark of the middle stanza to keep the game tied.
The U.S. found itself back on the power play with 7:48 left in the second period and capitalized. Conor Garland (Scituate, Mass.) and Carter Mazur (Jackson, Mich.) were stationed net front, and Garland tapped home a rebound off a shot from Mazur. Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.) picked up an assist as well.
Lane Hutson (Chicago, Ill.) made things 3-1 with just 30 seconds to play in the period after he came out of the penalty box, stole the puck at the far blueline and flew down the ice before putting the puck top shelf as two Swedish defenders were converging on him.
Matt Coronato (Greenlawn, N.Y.) added an apparent fourth goal from the low slot just 2:29 into the final frame, but it was overturned after Sweden successfully challenged the play for offside.
While the U.S. controlled play in the third period and outshot Sweden 16-6, goals by Carlsson at 14:51 and Timothy Lilegren with 2:31 to play sent the game to a five-minute three-on-three overtime session.
That set the stage for Samberg, who fired a shot from the high slot off the post and in after Mazur made a nifty centering pass. Tynan earned an assist on the play as well. Team USA had all four shots on goal in the extra session and a 43-26 shot advantage in the contest.
NOTES: Conor Garland was named U.S. Player of the Game … The U.S. was 2-6 on the power play, while Sweden was 1-4 … Carter Mazur and T.J. Tynan each tallied two assists.