World Juniors: Canada Drops Thriller in Pardubice

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World Juniors: Canada Drops Thriller in Pardubice
Maybe now Canadian hockey fans will come back down to Earth.

Team Canada had its 20-game winning streak at the World Junior tournament snapped on Saturday in a 4-3 loss against Sweden. The defeat was Canada's first since the 2004 Gold Medal Game.

The Swedish team started Jhonas Enroth in net, while Canada went back to Jonathan Bernier after giving him a day off on the heels of his record-breaking 44-save shutout against the host Czech Republic.

The upstart Swedish team came out hitting and matched the Canadian team in the physical game—but the score stayed 1-0 Canada until the third period. The final frame would see a wild offensive explosion, which proved to be the final nail in the coffin for the sloppy Canadians.

Brad Marchand opened the scoring for Canada with less than a minute left in the first, powering his way past the Swedish defense and finishing with a nice deke on Enroth.

Shawn Matthias scored again at the start of the third to put Canada up 2-0, but the Swedish team countered with a power-play goal off a point shot from Erik Moe less than two minutes later.

Tony Lagerstrom and Oscar Moeller followed with two goals in the next three minutes to the put the Swedish team ahead 3-2.

Canada caught a lucky break when Sweden got into penalty trouble, putting itself at a two-man disadvantage and allowing Claude Giroux to bang home a rebound to tie the game.

Sweden, though, seemed destined to win after Mikael Backlund capitalized on a turnover by Brad Marchand near the neutral zone, streaking up the ice and making a beautiful cross-rink pass to Tobias Forsberg (no relation to the former Avalanche star) in front of the net.

Forsberg put a shot high on the glove side to beat Bernier, who stood no chance of making the save. 

Canada will have a day off before their next start against Denmark on Friday at 12:00 PM EST. Sweden clinched a bye to the semifinal round of the tournament with their third straight win.
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