…I don’t even know what to say about this game. It has taken me over a day to write this recap because I still can’t quite grasp that it’s happened, that it’s over for Sweden.
To Tre Kronor’s credit, at least it wasn’t a blowout—but that might be the only consolation we can find in this game. The momentum started on the Swedes’ side, with plenty of chances including an early Eriksson goal. Yet the Czech’s patience paid off as they slowly took control of the game, starting with Krejci’s power play due to a J. Ericsson tripping call. (And I love Krejci, so this was twice as hard to watch.) Zetterberg and Ericsson himself scored in rapid succession (at the end of the second and the start of the third, respectively) to give Sweden new life—and seal a tied third-period with an incredible pace.
The third period was, truly, everything international hockey should always be. Both teams played desperately and skillfully, with only one penalty (delay of game for Hedman). The pace was fast and hard and there were enough chances that it was hard to back off from the edge of the chair and remember how to breathe. As the last minute trickled by and we all tried to steel ourselves for overtime, the unthinkable happened and a Kronwall turnover allowed Milan Michalek to win it for Team Czech with 29 seconds left in the game.
With an assist, the winning goal, and a lot of hard work on the ice, Michalek truly earned the distinction of player of the game. And so the Czechs have moved on and Sweden is once again left shaking their heads and wondering what’s happened these past two years.
Landeskog was very eloquent in his reaction to this game, and I think his words really sum this up better than I could have. “We thought we had the game in hand. We were starting to play well, getting pucks to the net, just like we wanted to play. It’s tough to let that one go in with 29 seconds left.”
As I mourn Tre Kronor’s early exit (again), I am comforted by the fact that one of my very own Blackhawks and my favorite Bruin and birthday twin are still making a bid for a medal. Hodně štěstí, český tým!
No post-game reactions this time—apparently everyone was too shocked to comment on video.
See y’all… next year? In December for World Juniors?
SAY IT ISN’T SO.