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GAMEDAY: U.S. Meets Sweden in U18s Semifinal Showdown

By USA Hockey, 04/22/17, 7:00AM EDT


Game to be shown live on NHL Network at 1:30 p.m. ET.

The U.S. will face Sweden in a semifinals matchup to determine who will advance to Sunday's Gold-Medal Game. Puck drop is set for 7:38 p.m. (1:38 p.m. ET) and the game can be seen live on NHL Network.

Semis Success

The U.S. has played in 14 semifinal games in the history of the IIHF Men's  Under-18 World Championship, posting a record of 7-4-1-2-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T).

Sweden in Semis

Sweden advanced to the semifinals with a 7-3 win against Canada on Thursday. This win followed a 5-1 loss to the U.S. in the final preliminary round game in Group B on Tuesday (April 18, see quick recap below). 

Sweden has had a balanced attack in the tournament to this point, with four players registering four points each to lead the team. Olle Eriksson Ek and Adam Ahman have split time in goal.

Prior to this tournament, the U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team had 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 Sweden are meeting for the 16th time in IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship history. The U.S. owns an all-time record of 12-1-0-2-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T) against Sweden.  The U.S. has outscored Sweden 71-31 all-time. 

The U.S. is undefeated against Sweden in the two teams'   previous semifinal matchups in 2005 (W, 6-2) and 2014 (W, 4-1). 

In the 2014 semifinals, Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) and Ryan Hitchcock (Manhasset, N.Y.) each scored one goal and added one assist to help defeat Sweden at Lappeenranta Arena in Lappeenranta, Finland. Alex Nedeljkovic (Parma, Ohio) made 19 stops in the win for Team USA. 

In medal games against Sweden, the U.S. is 3-1-0-0-0 all-time. 

The U.S. has not lost to Sweden since April 13, 2010 in a preliminary round game. The U.S. responded to that loss by defeating Sweden in the 2010 Gold-Medal Game 3-1. 

In that game, Jack Campbell (Port Huron, Mich.) made 33 saves as the U.S. captured its second consecutive gold medal at Minsk Arena in Belarus. The U.S. goals were scored by Luke Moffatt (Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Justin Faulk (South St. Paul, Minn.), and Rocco Grimaldi

The victory in 2010 was the first of three-straight Gold-Medal Game victories for the U.S. against Sweden with the U.S. capturing first place in 2011 (4-3, OT) and 2012 (7-0). 

U18MWC Schedule

USA Schedule

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 W, 5-1 ZS Spisska Nova Ves NHL Network
April 20 Switzerland
W, 4-2 ZS Spisska Nova Ves NHL Network
April 22 Sweden
W, 4-3 OT ZS Poprad NHL Network
April 23 Finland • Gold Medal Game W, 4-2 ZS Poprad NHL Network

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