Team USA win silver at U18 World Championship, lose 6-4 to Sweden in final – The Rink Live
LANDSHUT, Germany — After a dominating win over Czechia in the semifinals, Team USA was aiming for gold at the 2022 IIHF U18 World Men’s Championship. The United States had to settle for silver after a 6-4 loss to Sweden in the final on Sunday.
After failing to place at the tournament last year and with the event canceled in 2020, Team USA clinched their first top three since winning bronze in 2019. Sweden have now won two of the last three U18 men’s world titles and has won a medal in the last four tournaments.
Team USA looked strong heading into the championship game, with Ryan Leonard (Amherst, Mass/Boston College) scoring 2:24 into the game. The Swedes responded midway through the first with two early goals to take their first lead of the game, then the United States tied it at two on a Frank Nazar (Mt. Clemens, Michigan/Michigan) goal before the first intermission .
The second period resulted in penalties for Team USA, with Sweden scoring two power-play goals on the frame. Rutger McGroarty (Lincoln, Neb./Michigan) scored late in the period to cut Sweden’s lead to one, but the second period ended with the Americans still trailing, 4-3.
The third period started with plenty of opportunities for Team USA, including two back-to-back power-play opportunities, but they weren’t able to take advantage of either. Sweden added an insurance goal, the eventual game-winner, just before the halfway point of the third to extend their lead to 5-3. McGroarty added his second of the night for the United States, but it wasn’t enough as Sweden added an empty net to seal the gold medal with a 6-4 victory.
Sweden was the only country to score more than three goals against the Americans throughout the tournament. Sweden keeper Hugo Havelid played an outstanding game, stopping 47 of 51 shots he faced in net to help lead the Swedes to victory despite being trailed 51-15 by the USA in the final game.
Sunday’s clash between the United States and Sweden was the fourth time the two countries have met in an U18 men’s league game (2010-12) and was Sweden’s first victory. The Swedes won their second tournament crown and their second in the last three events. Team USA won the silver medal for the fifth time. Finland won the bronze medal for the fifth time after beating Czechia 4-1 on Sunday.