Eyes on Sweden: USA Falls in Exhibition Game

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On March 23, 2013, Minnesota head coach Don Lucia was named the head coach of the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team by USA Hockey. With Lucia behind the bench, the Red, White and Blue will compete at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2013 - Jan. 5, 2014, in Malmo, Sweden. 

In addition to Lucia, Gophers Brady Skjei and Hudson Fasching are competing for a roster spot on next year's U.S. squad. 

The U.S. program will seek its fourth medal in five years including a gold-medal performance in 2013 with Gophers defenseman Mike Reilly on the roster and assistant coach Grant Potulny on staff. As the tournament approaches, Gophersports.com will provide updates using "Eyes on Sweden".

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ANGELHOLM, Sweden (From USA Hockey) - The U.S. National Junior Team lost to Sweden, 4-2, tonight in pre-tournament action at Lindab Arena. Ryan Hartman (West Dundee, Ill.) and Dan O'Regan (Needham, Mass./Boston University) supplied the U.S. goals.

Team USA is holding training camp for the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Angelholm until Dec. 23. The U.S. has a final pre-tournament game Sunday (Dec. 22) vs. Finland. Tournament play in Malmo, Sweden, begins Dec. 26.

"There was a lot to like in how we played tonight," said Don Lucia, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "I thought we had vast improvement in our game since we last played. I thought we played with very good energy, especially after the first period. We got pucks in deep and a lot of good looks. Unfortunately, it was one of those nights where their goalie made some outstanding saves. Five-on-five, we scored a couple good deflection goals. The minus was that we gave up two power-play goals."

During a power play at 6:54 of the first period, Sweden's Andreas Johnson one-timed a shot from the left slot high into the net for a 1-0 advantage.

Sweden doubled its lead with 21 seconds left in the opening frame when Alexander Wennberg swatted a high rebound into the goal from the edge of the crease.

Neither team scored in the second period, though USA doubled Sweden in shots on goal, 12-6, for a two-period shot advantage of 23-12.

Hartman cut the U.S. deficit in half at 1:43 of the third period. Ian McCoshen (Hudson, Wis./Boston College) stopped a Sweden clearing attempt and wristed a shot that Hartman tipped out of midair in the low slot.

Sebastian Collberg reclaimed Sweden's two-goal lead by speeding through the right circle and firing a hard wrist shot into the near top corner.

While on the power play, Sweden buried a rebound at 17:25 to gain a 4-1 advantage.

Team USA capped the scoring at 19:04 when O'Regan redirected a left point shot by Jaccob Slavin (Erie, Colo./Colorado College). Riley Barber (Pittsburgh, Pa./Miami Univ.) also assisted.

Anthony Stolarz (Edison, N.J.) made 19 saves in the loss. His counterpart, Oscar Dansk, stopped 36 shots.

Team USA is back on the ice Sunday (Dec. 22) when it takes on Finland in the pre-tournament finale in Angelholm, Sweden. Game time is 1:30 p.m. (7:30 a.m. ET).

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