The U.S. national junior team defeated Sweden 3-2 in overtime on Thursday in Helsinki, Finland in an exhibition game.
Both are preparing for the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2012-Jan. 5, 2013, in Ufa, Russia.
Two of the U.S goals were scored by defensemen, including the game-winner by Shayne Gostisbehere of Union. The U.S. team also killed off eight of Sweden's nine power plays.
"Overall, I think our special teams did a great job tonight," said Phil Housley, the U.S. team coach, according to a USA Hockey news release. "We got an early goal on the power play, which got us settled in. Also our penalty killing was extraordinary, especially on the two extended five-on-threes. The guys played hard, were competitive and played with tempo. Also, we wanted to see the guys we have to make decisions on and I believe we were able to do that."
Sweden took the early lead at 2:35 on a wrist shot from the left circle. Team USA responded two minutes later on a power-play marker by Connor Murphy of the Sarnia Sting. Jim Vesey of Harvard slid a pass from the goal line to the left point for Murphy. After faking a shot, Murphy moved down to the high slot and snapped the puck over the goaltender's glove for a 1-1 tie.
The U.S. team, after surviving four consecutive power plays by Sweden, took a 2-1 lead at 3:48 of the second period. Mario Lucia of Notre Dame forced a turnover behind the Sweden net and flipped a pass into the lower right slot for Ryan Hartman of the Plymouth Whalers. He scored.
Sweden tied the game at 2-2 with a power-play goal late in the second period.
Despite multiple power plays by both team, the third period was scoreless.
At 1:38 of the four-on-four overtime, Sean Kuraly of Miami won an offensive zone faceoff back to the right point. And Gostisbehere shot the puck through traffic and into the top of the Sweden's net.
Goaltender Jon Gillies of Providence earned the win in relief, stopping 18-of-19 shots in 30:11. Starter Garret Sparks of the Guelph Storm turned away 17 of the 18 shots he faced in 31:27.
Sweden netminder Niklas Lundstrom made 29 saves.
Team USA will play Finland at 5 a.m. Saturday (CST) on Saturday in its second exhibition game.
NOTES: NHL Network is broadcasting all Team USA games live and re-airing them in prime time each night. NHL.com is also streaming all games live. ... The final roster for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship will be released on Saturday on USAHockey.com. Housely has to cut three players, probably one forward and two defensemen.
Scoring By Period
Team 1 2 3 OT Total
Sweden 1 1 0 0 2
USA 1 1 0 1 3
First Period – Scoring: 1, SWE, Molin (Froberg), 2:35; 2, USA, Murphy (Vesey, Trocheck), 4:51 (pp). Penalties: SWE, Team (too many men), 4:03; USA, Team (too many men), 6:46; USA, Team (too many men), 12:52; USA, Gostisbehere (slashing), 16:05; USA, Hartman (holding), 17:02; SWE, Arnesson (tripping), 19:21.
Second Period – Scoring: 3, USA, Hartman (Lucia), 3:48; 4, SWE, Rakell (Vikstrand, Sandberg), 19:26 (pp). Penalties: SWE, Pettersson (tripping), 6:02; USA, Gostisbehere (hooking), 9:11; SWE, Forsberg (slashing), 13:24; SWE, Arnesson (interference), 16:23; USA, Murphy (high-sticking), 18:36.
Third Period – Scoring: None. Penalties: USA, Galchenyuk (holding), 4:11; USA, Biggs (tripping), 11:49; SWE, Sorensen (tripping), 13:11; SWE, Lindholm (high-sticking), 15:57; USA, Team (too many men), 17:16; SWE, Djoos (tripping), 18:02.
Overtime - Scoring: 5, USA, Gostisbehere (Kuraly), 1:38. Penalties: None.
Shots 1 2 3 OT Total
USA 10 12 8 2 32
Sweden 10 12 15 0 37
Goaltender (SH/SV) 1 2 3 OT Total
USA, Sparks, 31:27 9/10 8/8 -- -- 17/18
Gillies , 30:11 -- 3/4 15/15 0/0 18/19
SWE, Lundstrom, 61:38 9/10 11/12 8/8 1/2 29/32
Power Play: USA 1-9; SWE 1-9
Penalties: USA 9-18; SWE 9-18
2013 IIHF World Junior Championship NHL Network Schedule
Dec. 26, 2012-Jan. 5, 2013 • Ufa, Russia • Ufa Arena
Date Matchup Time (CST)/Result
Thurs., Dec. 20 USA vs. Sweden* W, 3-2 OT
Sat., Dec. 22 Finland vs. USA* 5 a.m.
Thurs., Dec. 27 USA vs. Germany, 8 a.m.
Fri., Dec. 28 USA vs. Russia 8 a.m.
Sun., Dec. 30 USA vs. Canada 3:30 a.m.
Mon., Dec. 31 USA vs. Slovakia, 4 a.m.
Wed., Jan. 2
Quarterfinal #1, 3 am
Quarterfinal #2 7 am
Thurs., Jan. 3
Semifinal #1, 3 am
Semifinal #2, 7 am
Sat., Jan. 5
Bronze Medal Game, 3 am
Gold Medal Game, 7 a.m.