Huberdeau Sparks Canada, USA Also Wins

Panthers forward named Best Player in 3-2 overtime victory over Sweden, USA punches ticket to quarterfinals with 3-1 win over Finland.

Sunday, 05.18.2014 / 2:00 PM
Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
Jonathan Huberdeau celebrates Brayden Schenn's second period goal against Sweden in the IIHF World Championship (Richard Wolowicz - HHOF / IIHF Images).

With just two games remaining in preliminary round play at the 2014 IIHF World Championship, Sunday’s games for Canada and the United States went a long way in setting up their push for medals.

Tied with Finland at the cutoff line entering play on Sunday, the United States (3-1-0-2) played one of their most complete games of the tournament, downing the Finns 3-1. Canada, on the other hand, came back to defeat Sweden 3-2 in overtime, tying the Swedes atop their group in the process.

CANADA 3 – SWEDEN 2 (OT)

The offense keeps coming for Jonathan Huberdeau. With Canada trailing 2-0 in the second period, the Panthers forward stretched his point streak to four games (1-3-4) with an assist that helped kickstart the Canadians offense and propel them to a 3-2 come-from-behind overtime victory over Sweden. The win has them tied atop Group A with one game to play.

Joakim Lindstrom struck 13:49 into the game. Huberdeau, who was named Canada’s Best Player of the Game, had an excellent chance to tie the game late in the first as he beautifully outdeked Anders Nilsson on a penalty shot but Nilsson got enough of the shot to deflect the puck just wide.

The Swedes doubled their lead 1:06 into the second but from there on out it was all red and white. Canada broke through less than four minutes after Linus Klasen’s goal as Huberdeau and Philadelphia’s Brayden Schenn crashed the net after an offensive zone face-off victory, with Schenn banging home Huberdeau’s rebound to make it a 2-1 game. They tied it almost four minutes after that when Kevin Bieksa’s power play blast found the back of the net. A scoreless third sent the game into overtime where Ryan Ellis scored on the rush with 2:38 gone.

Huberdeau collected the assist on two shots and 13:02 of ice time while Erik Gudbranson finished with a shot on 9:36 of ice time. Canada finishes out preliminary play against Norway on Tuesday.

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UNITED STATES 3 – FINLAND 1

The United States scored 19 seconds into the game and the defense stymied Finland’s attack as the Americans guaranteed a spot in the quarterfinals with the 3-1 victory.

Seconds after the puck dropped in Minsk, Nashville’s Seth Jones sent a puck in that took a weird bounce off the stanchion, ending up in front of the net where Brock Nelson tapped it into the empty net. It looked like that would be the only goal as the USA constantly denied the Finns as former Panther Tim Thomas finished with 22 saves on the night. Tampa Bay’s Tyler Johnson scored midway through the third to make it a 2-0 game and then added an empty netter to put the nail in the coffin with 45 seconds remaining as he collected the high clearing pass from Panthers forward Drew Shore and shot it into the open net.

Shore finished with the assist on three shots and was a plus-1 on 13:30 of ice time. Jimmy Hayes finished with a minor penalty on 9:57 of ice time while Vincent Trocheck won five of his six draws (83.3%) and had a shot on net on 11:37 of ice time. The Americans close out preliminary play on Tuesday against Germany.

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