Today features the match up on the other side of the semi-finals bracket as Team Sweden, winner of Group B, takes on Team Europe.
Team Europe 3 versus Team Sweden 2 (OT)
Anton Stralman – 0-1-1, -2, 3 SOG, 1 Hit, 1 Block, 21:02 TOI
Victor Hedman – 0-0-0, -2, 4 SOG, 2 Hits, 1 Block, 19:55 TOI
The first period was rather uneventful with no scoring and only one penalty which came from Team Europe early in the first period. Team Sweden opened up the scoring with Anton Stralman setting up Nicklas Backstrom for a goal almost two and a half minutes into the second period. Team Europe would come back and tie it up with less than four minutes to go with a goal from Marian Gaborik.
In the third period, Tomas Tatar found the back of the net just 12 seconds in to put Team Sweden behind the eight-ball. Erik Karlsson would sneak a puck through traffic that deflected off of a Team Europe leg and into the back of the net with less than five minutes to go and eventually send the game in to overtime.
The game didn’t end without a little bit of controversy. After a turnover, Tomas Tatar kicked the puck and Henrik Lundqvist. It went off his pad, Tatar then got his stick on it and then it went off of his other skate and into the back of the net with Victor Hedman doing his best to tie him up and keep it out. The refs reviewed the goal and determined that it was not kicked in advancing Team Europe to the Finals against Team Canada.
Hedman and Stralman wore a bit of the goat horns in this game as both were a minus-two and were on the ice for four of the five goals scored including all three of Team Europe’s goals. Stralman and Hedman were third and fourth in TOI for Sweden’s defense. Stralman had a total of 5 shot attempts and Hedman had 6 shot attempts, but it wasn’t enough for Team Sweden to win.
Now Team Canada’s Steven Stamkos is the only Bolt remaining in the World Cup of Hockey as Hedman and Stralman will make their way back to Tampa and should join training camp some time mid-week as they’ll get a few days to rest up.
The Lightning will be starting their pre-season schedule with two home games on Tuesday and Thursday. I’ll be at those games and the Bolt Round Up for the World Cup of Hockey may not appear until the morning after.