North America and Sweden jockey for position in Group B action as both teams vie for the two semi-final spots out of their pool.
North America have grown into the darlings of this tournament as the young stars from Canada and the United States have compiled a very talented roster with tons of team speed and finesse, but after a 4-3 loss to Russia in their last game they know they need to find a way to win here against the undefeated Swedes. There is plenty of action left to see in thie group as things are much cloudier than they are in Group A as Sweden, North America, and Russia can all clinch a spot, while Finland’s tournament is over. However, things look much better for the Swedes as they have two regulation wins already and have been keeping pucks out of the net and against a high octane offense like North America they are going to have to be strong in the defensive zone and this looks to be the biggest challenge for the North American side.
Sweden has looked like a juggernaut through two games and while they have only managed four goals offensively, they have only conceded one and that came to Alex Ovechkin on the man advantage, with Henrik Lundqvist sidelined. Sweden looks to be the team to beat right now in Group B and while the young North American side will pose a challenge I think Sweden’s blue line will be able to keep North America’s team speed in check and should have enough in the offensive zone to get by the unexperienced back end of their opponent. I am pulling for North America as a hockey fan as many of these youngsters are going to be the future of the game but Sweden right now is a little too heavy on the back end and should have more than enough to offset the North Americans, and we get them at a great price.