In the most thrilling of the four Quarter finals of Thursday, Team Canada fell to the Swedes in the always dreaded shoot out, that after 70 minutes of end to end hockey, which featured some brilliant plays, some ugly plays, untimely penalties and one very unfortunate injury to Team Canada's captain Eric Staal, more on that in a bit.
As for the game, Canada had their moments to put away the Swedes but some outstanding goal tending from Jhonas Enroth held off the Canadian attack, though not for lack of trying by the Canadians.
Steven Stamkos opened the scoring for Canada with a second period marker that set the pace for the Canadian squad for the rest of the period, Stamkos marker came on the power play.
Sweden finally got on the board in the third as Nicklas Danielsson picked up two goals on the night as Sweden then took the lead on the power play. One of them, the go ahead marker, as Claude Giroux sat in the box for an untimely and in the minds of some unjustified two minute penalty, providing a bit more open ice for the Swedes to put together their attack and take the lead in the third.
Giroux went from goat to hero shortly after that, once back on the ice he had definite zeal for the Swedish end of the ice, gaining back the lost goal shortly after his return.
The two teams then exchanged many opportunities for the remaining ten, a period that was highlighted by many opportunities at both ends, with both Enroth and Canada's Mike Smith holding the fort down as the clock ticked down.
by the bizarre incidence of the Swedish goaltender exiting the ice for what we imagine were equipment repairs, which required that his backup be dropped into the game at perhaps its most pivotal moment, holding up his end of the bargain, he stared down the Canadian attack and shut down Team Canada on three scoring chances, rescued from further duty when Enroth returned to the ice.
Neither Canada, nor Sweden could find the range to finish out the period and the ten minute, 4 on 4 overtime provided for much of the same, many chances but no goals, but no shortage of strange things on the European ice.
The OT featured the bizarre incidence of the Swedish goaltender Enroth exiting the ice for what we imagine were equipment repairs, which required that his backup Jacob Markstrom be dropped into the game at perhaps its most pivotal moment.
Holding up his end of the bargain, he stared down the Canadian attack and shut down Team Canada on a couple of scoring chances, rescued from further duty when Enroth returned to the ice.
With the full 70 minutes of regulation and OT out of the way, the IIHF shoot out provided for the final outcome, with Canada and Sweden exchanging goals in the first round, leaving Sweden to clinch the victory in round number two on a slap shot from Fredrik Pettersson, a most unusual thing in a shootout, blasting the winning goal past Smith to send the Swedes renew acquaintances with their long time nemesis from Finland on Saturday.
With the Swedish victory, Canada was eliminated from further action at the Worlds, left to collect their belongings and bring the wounded home.
Among them Eric Staal, who suffered what appeared to be a very serious knee injury in a collision with Alex Edler. From replays it would seem that Edler did not move his leg out of the way of the oncoming Staal, a questionable hit that could leave Carolina hockey fans worried for the start of training camp and an incident that will no doubt carry a long memory for next year for Staal upon his recovery.
National Post-- Eric Staal injured in collision with Alex Edler during Sweden vs. Canada
CBC-- Eric Staal hurt as Canada eliminated from world championship
Globe and Mail-- Eric Staal injured in knee-on-knee collision at hockey worlds
Reviews of Canada's final game at this years Worlds can be found below:
Globe and Mail-- Sweden eliminates Canada in shootout at hockey worlds
While Canada makes its exit, there are still the Semi-Finals to be played on Saturday and the Gold, Silver and Bronze medal games of Sunday.
Saturday's match ups feature the Surprising Swiss taking on the USA who trounced the Russians on Thursday. Saturday will also showcase Sweden and Finland which should provide for much in the way of drama between the two rivals.
Winners advance to the Gold medal game, losers to the Bronze match up.