Team North America pulled out a 4-3 overtime over Sweden in its final round robin game of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Unfortunately, by not finishing off the Swedes in regulation, due in large part to a 21-save second period from Henrik Lundqvist, the exciting 23-and-Under team must get help from punchless Finland to advance to the semi-finals.
Florida Panthers center Vincent Trocheck scored his first of the tournament at the 1:35 mark of the first period, 65 seconds after Auston Matthews game-opening goal to give North America a 2-0 lead.
Johnny Gaudreau lit lamp the lamp between goals by Filip Forsberg and Niklas Backstrom to put the North Americans up 3-2 after twenty minutes.
The Young Guns absolutely dominated the middle frame, but couldn’t solve Lundqvist to put the game away and gain a spot in the next round.
Patrik Berglund tied the game 6:50 into third period. The point Sweden gained by getting to overtime was enough to clinch Group B, setting up an elimination match with Team Europe, who was soundly beaten 4-1 by Group A-winner Canada last night.
Nathan MacKinnon delivered the game-winner with 49 seconds left in overtime, with assists going to the dangerous Gaudreau and Shayne Gostisbehere.
Russia must beat Finland today at 3 p.m. (ESPN) to gain the last semifinal berth and a Saturday date with host Canada. A Russian loss would send North America to the knockout round in what would be an extremely compelling match.
The Czech Republic will face Team USA at 8 p.m. on ESPN2 in the meaningless final game for both of those teams.