OILERS AT THE WORLDS

Under the Scope: Canada vs. Sweden

An in-depth look at Team Canada's 3-2 victory over Team Sweden

Monday, 09.05.2011 / 6:15 PM / Oilers at the Worlds
By Ryan Dittrick  - edmontonoilers.com
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Under the Scope: Canada vs. Sweden



Monday's critical matchup was the last game to determine the rankings for the upcoming Quarter-Final round. Canada opened the scoring only 1:08 into the game when James Neal was sprung on a breakaway. Sweden was quick to respond, notching the equalizer only 2:35 later.

The even tally on the scoreboard was appropriate, as the two teams looked poised for extra time. Canada took the lead once more, but were again matched by the pesky Swedes as the game progressed.

The 2-2 scored carried for nearly 22 minutes before Canada's Rick Nash scored with only 7:29 to play in the game. This time, Sweden was unable to manufacture a response with the allotted time on the clock, and Canada escaped with a 3-2 victory in the Quarter-Final preamble.

Canada's Jonathan Bernier made his second start of the tournament, recording 23 saves on 25 Swedish shots. At the other end, Erik Ersberg had an answer for 40 of Canada's 43 attempts in the loss.

Jordan Eberle was unable to record a point in the game, but Magnus Paajarvi was able to collect an assist on David Petrasek's power-play goal in the opening period.

All you need to know and more as we go Under the Scope:

With the game winding down and chances becoming scarcer, Canada was able to take the lead one last time courtesy of Rick Nash and Brent Burns. Up to this point in the game, Sweden had succesfully killed all five Canadian power-play chances. Nash passed to the point where Burns collected the puck for a moment, before releasing a quick snapshot on goal. The puck worked through congestion before being redirected by Nash, fooling Swedish netminder Erik Ersberg glove-side. Canada's 3-2 lead would hold up, sealing victory and an unbeaten 6-0 record for the red and white.




MAGNUS PAAJARVI
Team Sweden
G A P +/- Shots
0 1 1 E 0

JORDAN EBERLE
Team Canada
G A P +/- Shots
0 0 0 E 2



TEAM SWEDEN
David Petrasek
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 E 3

TEAM CANADA
Jonathan Bernier
SA SV GA TOI SV%
25 23 2 60:00 .920



TEAM SWEDEN
Erik Ersberg
SA SV GA TOI SV%
43 40 3 60:00 .930

TEAM CANADA
Jonathan Bernier
SA SV GA TOI SV%
25 23 2 60:00 .920



TEAM SWEDEN
David Rundblad - D

23:47 - 0P, E rating

TEAM CANADA
Dion Phaneuf - D

22:21 - 0P, +1 rating

Much to the dismay of Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk, Jonathan Bernier has stepped into the role alongside Maple Leafs keeper James Reimer. Bernier had an excellent outing today, posting 23 saves on 25 Swedish shots. Most importantly, he kept Tre Kronor at bay when his team needed him the most. On the rush, a beautiful saucer-pass from David Petrasek was redirected at the goalmouth. Bernier showcased tremendous lateral movement, sliding across to stop the puck with an extended pad save. The stop kept the 2-2 score intact and provided Canada with the opportunity to win the game late.


Rick Nash did it all for Canada today. Not only did #61 contribute with with the game-winning goal, but his five shots helped provide the spark for Canada's attack throughout the match. In addition to his offensive contributions, Nash was a physical force, defensively responsible, and was willing to work in the dirty areas to help keep the puck in Canada's possession. If not for some excellent goaltending from Jonathan Bernier, Nash would have earned Canada's Player of the Game honours.


Although Dion Phaneuf and Brent Burns were excellent today, Alex Pietrangelo was a stand-out for the Canadian squad in the win. In total, the 21-year-old defenceman played 20:54, had a team-high seven shots on goal, a plus-one rating, and was the catalyst for Canada's quick breakout with a pin-point first pass. All things considered, it was a fantastic outing for the St. Louis Blues rearguard in Canada's sixth win of the tournament.


With just over a minute to play in the second period, Canada's Rick Nash ignited the physical game with a thunderous hit on Calgary Flames rookie Mikael Backlund. The 22-year-old centre carried the puck through the neutral zone where a tracking Nash met the Swede with great shoulder-to-shoulder force, separating him from the puck and sending him violently to the ice. Nash was erroneously assessed a charging minor on the play, but the incredible impact was irreversable.



One year ago, Canada concluded the Qualification Round with a disastrous seventh place ranking and only three wins to the nation's credit. This year, a remarkable turnaround has taken place. Canada has won all six matches, heading into the Quarter-Finals with the top ranking in Group F. Next up: Team Russia.



Quarter-Finals
Wednesday, May 11th
Thursday, May 12th


Canada begins the Quarter-Finals with a test against Russia, while Sweden will challenge Germany as both teams look to move on to the next round in Slovakia.

Author: Ryan Dittrick | edmontonoilers.com