Canada falls to Sweden at U-18 hockey worlds
Canada received a wake-up call at the IIHF Under-18 men's hockey championship Tuesday.
Sweden scored four unanswered goals in the third period to rally past the Canadians 4-2 in the final game of the preliminary round.
Linus Froberg opened scoring for Sweden 2:04 into the third. Gustav Bjorklund scored at the 14:14 mark and Oscar Klebom followed 38 seconds later. Joachim Nermark added an empty-net goal in the final minute of play.
Goaltender Niklas Lundstrom made 20 saves to earn the win.
"You can call it a learning lesson, a reality check, whatever you want, bottom line is there's some good hockey players and good hockey teams over here," said Canada's head coach Mike Williamson. "There's one way we're going to win and one way only and that's the physical, aggressive, Canadian-type of game and we didn't do that for 60 minutes today."
Nick Cousins and Ryan Murphy both scored their third goals of the tournament for Canada. Goalie Malcolm Subban stopped 33 shots.
"We were very, very good in the first period today. We played a physical, aggressive, great game on the wall," said Williamson. "But our game got away from us starting in the second and carried into the third."
The win vaults Sweden over Canada in Group B's standings, meaning the Canadians will play Germany in the quarter-final of the tournament on Thursday. As the top team in its group, Sweden earns a bye to the semifinals.
Williamson isn't going to deviate far from Canada's strategy for the next round of the tournament.
"I'm not going to make any decisions this minute, we're going to go look at the video and see if there's any major adjustments we have to make," Williamson said on preparing for Germany. "I think the biggest adjustment we have to make is sticking to our game plan."
Canada's 22-player roster includes 14 players from the Ontario Hockey League, six players from the Western Hockey League and two players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Canada finished seventh at last year's tournament in Belarus. Canada last won gold in 2008.