Team Sweden played their final round robin game, defeating Team Italy 5-1. Sweden finished with a 5-1-1-0 record, securing one of the top two spots in Group A and a berth in the quarterfinals. The quaterfinal games all take place on May 22.
As for today’s game, there isn’t much to note for Mikael Backlund. He played 14:15, just sixth in ice time out of all Swedish forwards. His linemates, Dick Axelsson and Oscar Moller, also saw their ice times drop. Considering how the Swedes just faced their toughest opponents in the Canadians the day before, and had already secured a top quaterfinal spot, they were probably resting their top players.
Backlund had no points, and was only on the ice for Sweden's fifth goal, a powerplay goal, which came with just 4:05 left in the game. He had two shots on net and won five of nine faceoffs.
Tomorrow is the last day of the preliminary rounds, and the remaining three Flames will all be in action. Sean Monahan and Team Canada will play for the top spot in Group A against the Norwegians at 3:45 a.m. MT on TSN. They’ll need to win in regulation to finish atop Group A.
Johnny Gaudreau and Team USA play at the same time as the Canadians, only against Team Germany. Their game will be on TSN2. They already have a quarterfinal berth secured.
Jiri Hudler and Team Czech Republic play Team France at 11:45 a.m. MT. Both teams are still fighting for quarterfinal spots.
by Ari Yanover