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Sweden beats U.S. 5-4 in OT, spoiling Americans’ comeback

World Juniors Sweden US Hockey

Sweden’s Erik Brannstrom (12) and teammates celebrate his goal against the United States during the third period of a world junior hockey championships game in Victoria, British Columbia, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)


VICTORIA, British Columbia (AP) -- Adam Boqvist scored at 3:51 of overtime to give Sweden a 5-4 victory over the United States on Saturday night in the world junior hockey championship after Ryan Phoehling scored twice in the final 37 seconds to force the extra period.

Minnesota-Duluth defenseman Mikey Anderson began the U.S. comeback with a power-play goal with 10:26 to go. Phoehling assisted on the goal, and tied it with a natural hat trick in the final 6:35. The St. Cloud State sophomore had a power-play goal, then - with goalie Kyle Keyser off for an extra attacker - scored with 37 and 24 seconds to go.

''We were down four there, and any time you’re in that situation, you’re throwing the kitchen sink at them, doing anything you can to get a puck on net,’' Anderson said. ''Then we get one, then we get two and keep chipping away. You get two, you get a little more belief. Poehls came up big for us, scoring those last two goals. It shows the character we’ve got in the room, and the fight back was a big step for us.’'

Boqvist, a Chicago Blackhawks’ first-round pick who plays defense for the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights, beat Keyser on a give-and-go rush with Lucas Elvenes.

''We’ve got to show a little bit of pride and I think we did that,’' Poehling said. ''We ended up losing but I think it’s going to help us out in the long run.’'

Sweden broke a tie for the Group B lead with its record 47th straight victory in round-robin play.

''I thought about it before the overtime there,’' captain Erik Brannstrom said. ''It’s nice to see it go in - 47 straight, it’s fun to see.’'

Filip Westerlund, Rickard Hugg, Emil Bemstrom and Brannstrom also scored for Sweden, and Samuel Ersson made 29 saves.

Keyser stopped 28 shots. He plays for the OHL’s Oshawa Generals.

The Americans played without star forward Jack Hughes for the second straight game. He’s has an undisclosed injury.

''We could have used him tonight for sure,’' said top U.S. defenseman Quinn Hughes, Jack’s older brother. ''That would have been his type of game. I don’t mean to get ahead of myself, but I think he probably could have dominated that game. I know no one’s more upset about it than him. He’s getting better every day. I’m hoping he’ll be back really soon.’'

The teams will complete round-robin play Monday, with the Americans facing Finland, and the Swedes playing Kazakhstan.

In Group A in Vancouver, Morgan Frost had a goal and an assist, Michael DiPietro made 23 saves and Canada beat the Czech Republic 5-1 to improve to 3-0.

Maxime Comtois, Brett Leason, Alexis Lafreniere and MacKenzie Entwistle also scored for defending champion Canada. Ondrej Machala scored for the Czech Republic.

Canada will complete round-robin play Monday against Russia, with the group title likely at stake.

In the early Group A game in Vancouver, Blackhawks prospect Philipp Kurashev had a hat trick and Switzerland beat Denmark 4-0 to wrap up a spot in the quarterfinals.

Simon Le Coultre also scored and Luca Hollenstein made 21 saves for Switzerland. Denmark has been outscored 22-0 in three games.

In Group B earlier in Victoria, Finland also secured a quarterfinal spot, beating Slovakia 5-1. Henri Jokiharju, Santeri Virtanen, Ville Heinola, Anton Lundell and Oskari Laaksonen scored for Finland. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 22 saves, allowing only Milos Roman’s goal.