January 05 2017 01:07AM
After giving up 2 quick goals in the first period, Canada made a goaltending switch that was followed by instant success. Sweden eventually lost the game by a score of 5-2, as the semifinal matchup marked the end of Sweden's undefeated streak through 5 games at the 2017 WJC.
Jeremy Bracco came up big for the Americans today, tallying an assist and scoring a shootout goal in the 5th round that ultimately kept the USA alive in the game. Carl Grundstrom scored early in the first for Sweden, but had a fairly quiet game after. Both players will need to come up big tomorrow, as each of their respective teams will be trying to capture a medal.
USA VS. RUSSIA
Here are the highlights from this crazy semifinal matchup:
Jeremy Bracco was absolutely fantastic for the USA today. Coming up big in both regulation play and in the shootout, Bracco surpassed expectations and helped lead his team to a huge win against the Russians. Here is Bracco's assist on the USA's tying goal (left side of the gif, passes it off to Greenway on the right):
Game tied 2-2, goal by Kunin pic.twitter.com/zJRUqvyTSg— GIF Grand Maester (@myregularface) January 4, 2017
And here's Bracco's goal in the 5th round of the shootout:
Bracco scores in the 5th round, with bench reaction pic.twitter.com/ClAIRnqmXm— GIF Grand Maester (@myregularface) January 4, 2017
Though Bracco wasn't one of the names mentioned amongst the USA's top 3 players, he certainly deserves recognition for his play throughout the tournament. He has flashes of brilliance at times, though he's barely noticeable on the ice at others. In all honesty, I don't expect his play to be 100% consistent in every game. Bracco is an incredible talent, and I don't doubt that he will be able to come up big for the USA yet again tomorrow.
Well that was fun...🚨🚨🚨🚨— Jeremy Bracco (@jbracco97) January 4, 2017
CANADA VS. SWEDEN
Here are the highlights from Canada's 5-2 win over Sweden:
Carl Grundstrom had Sweden's second goal of the game - the goal that eventually forced a change in net by the Canadians. Here's a gif of Grundstrom's goal:
Leafs prospect Carl Grundstrom scores for Sweden to put them up 2-1 over Canada, but my goodness, Alex Nylander's touch at the start pic.twitter.com/21BoU2uJ4U— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) January 5, 2017
Grundstrom finishes the play off a sweet pass from Alex Nylander, giving Sweden the 2-1 lead early in the game. Grundstrom took a useless penalty late in the first period, cross-checking a Canadian player after the whistle. That penalty brought Sweden off the powerplay, and 9 seconds later, Anthony Cirelli scored Canada's second goal of the game.
Grundstrom, as well as most of the Swedish team, were quiet after the first period. Canada did a fantastic job shutting them down and putting on offensive pressure, and Sweden was unable to counter-attack.
DAY 10 PREVIEW
Tomorrow is the big day. At 3:30 EST, Sweden will take on Russia in the bronze medal game in Montreal. Sweden has finished within the tournament's top-4 every year since 2007, but don't have a very good record in either the gold or bronze medal games. Sweden has gone 2-8 in games where a medal was on the line, over the past 10 years. In comparison, Russia has finished within the tournament's top-4 9 times in the past 10 years, posting a 5-4 record in medal round games. In bronze medal games specifically, they have gone 4-0, achieving 3rd place in 2014, 2013, 2009 and 2008.
The USA will face off against Canada at 8:00 EST tomorrow night. The USA was victorious over Canada in the preliminary round, beating the Canadians by a score of 3-1 on New Years Eve. Canada has finished within the tournament's top-4 on 7 occasions through 10 years, and have a 5-2 record in medal round games since 2007. The USA has a very similar record to Canada, posting a 5-1 record through 6 medal round games since 2007.