The Swedes came with an early press and it took just 87 seconds to open the scoring. After Oscar Lang and Jacob Peterson won a fight for the ball into the corner, Lang made a pass to run up to a one-time Karl Klingberg who beat Chris Dredger on the gauntlet.
Just seven minutes later, Sweden went 2-0 up. Joachim Nordstrom’s shot was blocked by Damon Severson and landed directly on William Nylander’s stick inside his own ball. Soon, Nylander turned on the jets and skated alone on Driedger, hitting him on the gauntlet and just under the crossbar.
“We are a beautiful young team and I think we were nervous in the first period,” said Canadian coach Claude Julien. We made some mistakes that gave them some chances and they took advantage of them. We came after the first and did some small adjustments, after which our guys looked like they were settling in.”
Canada’s attempts to return to it in the first period faltered with two minor kicks. The Canadians came out with difficulty at the start of the second half, coming under some constant pressure in the Swedish zone and getting their first six shots in this period on Olmark.
However, contrary to the course of play, the Swedes had the first opportunity to score in this period and Max Friberg scored on the post. Later in the same turn, Friberg scored to make the score 3-0. Centering in front of the net, he got his baton on Eric Gustafson’s point shot and deflected it away from Dredger.
It was the only official shot on target attributed to Sweden in the middle half. At the other end of the ice, Olmark stopped all 19 faces in his path. Canada’s best chance to score came in the first two runs late in its only strong play, when Olmark scrambled to stop a volley of shots, finally grabbing and freezing Paterson’s timer. Olmark also made a big save for Dylan Cousins’ shortened attempt after a turn.
“Between the second and third of the break we talked in the room and knew we could do it,” Chabot said. “We put a lot of pucks in the net, and we knew that at some point, some were going to go.”
In the second minute of the third inning, Canada finally took the lead when buoy Ryan Graves passed a point between an audience and beat Olmark on the short side.
“That first goal really gave us some life. And then we just kept clogging away,” Julien said.
Canada kept pushing, trying to get close, but Olmark was in the area. Halfway through the third half, Adam Lowry had a great chance from the hole but the Swedish goalkeeper made an incredible save, who needed a moment to recover after the whistle.
With 3:52, the Canadians went into a power play when Rasmus Dahlen fired the disc into the glass. Dreger went to the bench for a sixth striker in 2:20 to take a 6v4 advantage, and with just one second left in the power game, Pierre-Luc Dubois netted a one-goal to make it one. Game-goal with 1:53 to go.
With Driedger back on the bench after the standoff at the center of the ice, Canada went back on the attack and exactly 30 seconds later the match was tied. Barzal’s chief somehow managed to cross a forest in front of Grid untouched until he reached Olmark. The Boston Bruins got most of it, but the ball barely crossed the goal line before Olmark could save it with a glove.
“Trying to believe you can score a goal and then you get that goal to make it 3-2 and then you equalize and you get overtime,” said defender Damon Severson. “It was just one of those days when we knew we were going to get it done. We had a good feeling. We are a confident group. We know there are periods to play for a cause and extra time if needed.”
Nylander was called to falter for 25 seconds into overtime, and with the momentum on their side, it was the opener the Canadians needed. DuBois down to Barzal at the top of the circuit, to Batherson at the back door. Olmark was great, but had no chance of winning. Paterson fired quickly into the open side and that was it.
Canada is moving forward.