Asplund, Dahlin lose to U.S. at World Championship

Dylan Cozens and Team Canada are no longer undefeated
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(WGR 550) – Rasmus Asplund has had a great tournament for Team Sweden at the World Championship, but unfortunately for the Buffalo Sabres winger, he was involved in the play that gave Team USA a 3-2 overtime victory.

The Boston Bruins provided the goaltending for this game, as former Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark was in one net, while Jeremy Swayman had the crease for the Americans.

As overtime was winding down, Swayman made a huge save with Sweden coming directly at him, but it led to a 2-on-1 the other way.

T.J. Tynan from the Ontario Reign in the American Hockey League was playing his first game and broke down the right wing. Asplund, who is a forward and isn’t usually defending a 2-on-1, played it very passive, never stepping up to take the pass away. Tynan sent it over to Adam Gaudette at just the right time, and he ripped it past Ullmark, who had no chance. The goal came with just 11 seconds left in overtime.

Gaudette had two goals and an assist for Team USA.

Gaudette was claimed off waivers in November by the Ottawa Senators from the Chicago Blackhawks, and scored four goals and right assists for 12 points in 50 games for the Sens.

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Rasmus Dahlin opened the scoring with a nice read from the blue line. The Americans turned the puck over and Dahlin headed straight towards Swayman. Oskar Lang hit him perfectly alone in front.

Dahlin was, again, active throughout this game, and led Sweden in ice-time, playing 24:19. Dahlin had a great chance in overtime to give Sweden the win, but as he went in alone, Swayman made a big save.

The two Sabres representatives connected for good opportunities on the power play, as Dahlin found Asplund twice, but failed to score.

Asplund had four shots on goal in 21:48 of work for Sweden on Saturday. He leads the tournament overall with four goals.

In five games, Dahlin has two goals and three assists for five points.

Sabres winger John Hayden played a total of 10:36 for Team USA.

Ullmark didn’t look good to start this game, as Gaudette’s first goal was from distance and he seemed confused. After allowing two goals, Ullmark settled in and made a great save in the overtime on Sean Farrell, who played this season as a freshman at Harvard University.

Farrell was a fourth-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens in the 2020 NHL Draft.

Team Canada is now 4-1 in the tournament after Switzerland beat them, 6-3. The Swiss are 5-0 to open group play.

After getting a hat-trick in his last game, Dylan Cozens was held off the score sheet and was minus-1. In five games, Cozens has three goals and two assists.

This game was close until Switzerland got four unanswered goals by a pair of New Jersey Devils representatives, defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler and forward Nico Hischier. The other two markers came from Pius Suter of the Detroit Red Wings and Timo Meier of the San Jose Sharks.

Leonardo Genoni gave up three first period goals to Canada, but was spectacular after that, slamming the door shut on the Canadians.

I don’t know what Canada’s coach Claude Julien was thinking in this game. Logan Thompson of the Vegas Golden Knights was awful, letting in numerous bad goals, and Julien never made the change to Chris Driedger of the Seattle Kraken. That, in my mind, cost his team any chance of winning.

Canada is in second place in Group A with 12 points. That’s three points back of Switzerland and tied with Germany.

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Sweden is in second place in Group B, trailing Finland by four points with a game in-hand. Team USA is in third, two points behind Sweden.

Photo credit Losi and Gangi