Sweden wins world hockey title; Patrick Kane named tournament MVP

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Sweden capped a victorious run through the world men’s hockey championship by edging Switzerland 3-2 on Sunday in the final after a penalty shootout to successfully defend its title.

Forward Filip Forsberg scored the decisive goal in the shootout to give Sweden a third world title in six years, and 11th overall. Earlier Sunday, the U.S. topped Canada 4-1 to claim its third bronze medal in six years (but no standalone world title since 1933), with captain Patrick Kane becoming the first American to take MVP honors in tournament history.

Sweden won all 10 matches at the tournament.

“We wanted to win the gold medal, and here we are,” Sweden forward Viktor Arvidsson said. “It’s unbelievable, especially for Filip. He’s a great player, one of our top players. It’s unbelievable to win with my teammates.”

Arvidsson, together with Nashville Predators teammates Forsberg and defenseman Mattias Ekholm, joined the Swedish team during the tournament after the Predators were eliminated from the NHL playoffs.

“We had the puck a lot,” Arvidsson said. “They did a great job defending.”

Sweden outshot Switzerland 38-27 as the Swiss finished runners-up for the third time after 2013 and 1935. Switzerland has never won.

“We battled hard … all the tournament long,” Switzerland defenseman Mirco Muller said. “Once you look at the bigger picture, it’s huge for Swiss hockey. But right now, there’s a disappointment. We definitely had our chances.”

Switzerland stunned Canada 3-2 in the semifinals after a 3-2 upset against Finland in the quarterfinals.

“They were close to winning the whole championship. So, credit to them,” Sweden forward Magnus Paajarvi said.

Gustav Nyquist wristed a shot from the slot high past Leonardo Genoni for Sweden to answer the Swiss opening goal by Nino Niederreiter.

Timo Meier scored a second period power-play goal past Vancouver Canucks goalie Anders Nilsson to restore the one-goal advantage for Switzerland in the second.

Mika Zibanejad equalized on a power play from the point, forcing a scoreless 20-minute overtime. The Arizona Coyotes’ Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Forsberg scored for Sweden in the first four rounds of the shootout, while the Swiss missed on four straight tries after the Colorado Avalanche’s Sven Andrighetto beat Nilsson in the first round.

In the bronze-medal game, Chris Kreider led the U.S. with two goals.

Forward Nick Bonino scored the winner on a rebound during a power play in the final period. Anders Lee and Kreider added empty-net insurance goals for the U.S., whose roster was made up entirely of NHL players save one.

“It’s important for the team, but it’s also important for USA Hockey,” Kane said. “Now, we can build up off this level and try to keep being better and better.”

Kane had an assist in the game to finish the tournament with 20 points — eight goals and 12 assists — the first player to do so since 2008. The two-time Olympian broke U.S. records for most assists and most points at a single worlds.

“Obviously I’m here to produce and try to create offense and make plays out there,” Kane said. “Overall, I’m happy … it was a fun tournament and a great experience for me and I hope it will help me with my career going forward too.”

Canada failed to earn a medal for the first time since 2014.

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U.S. falls to Sweden in men’s hockey worlds semifinals

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The U.S. men’s hockey team could not end the drought.

The Americans, whose only title at a standalone world championship came in 1933, saw their gold-medal hopes extinguished in a 6-0 loss to Sweden in Saturday’s semifinals in Denmark.

Viktor Arvidsson (two goals, including an empty-netter), Magnus Paajarvi, Patric Hornqvist, Mattias Janmark and Adrian Kempe all beat U.S. goalie Keith Kinkaid. The Vancouver Canucks’ Anders Nilsson became the first goalie to shut out the U.S. in their ninth game.

Sweden, eyeing a repeat world title, will play Switzerland in Sunday’s gold-medal game. The Swiss upset Finland in the quarterfinals and Canada 3-2 in Saturday’s later semifinal. Switzerland has never won an Olympic or world title.

The U.S. plays Canada for bronze Sunday. The U.S. earned bronze in 2013 and 2015 and hasn’t finished higher than third since its last silver medal in 1950.

The U.S., with all NHL players save one on its roster, reached the final four for the fourth time in six years. The Olympic team made up of non-NHL players lost to the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals in PyeongChang.

Patrick Kane headlines a U.S. roster that also includes NHL All-Stars Johnny GaudreauDylan Larkin and Cam Atkinson.

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U.S. men’s curling team’s dream run falls short at worlds

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The U.S. men’s curling team won five straight games, just like at the Olympics. But this time, at the world championship, they needed six straight to make the medal round.

A rink led by Greg Persinger finished sixth at worlds in Las Vegas over the weekend. The Americans overcame a 1-6 start to sneak into the playoffs, where they lost to eventual silver medalist Canada with a semifinal spot at stake on Saturday.

Sweden, skipped by Niklas Edin, took gold after being upset by the U.S. Olympic team skipped by John Shuster in the PyeongChang final. It marked Edin’s third world title to go with two Olympic medals.

Shuster’s team missed nationals last month as it promoted the sport nationwide following its Olympic stunner. In their absence, Persinger’s rink claimed the U.S. title to earn the world spot.

Persinger, a 40-year-old father of three, owns a Cold Stone Creamery franchise with his wife in Fairbanks, Alaska.

“We played every team that’s in the playoffs to the end. I mean you got your money’s worth with us. I think every game but against Edin, we went to the last rock,” team member Rich Ruohonen said, according to USA Curling. “We’ve got nothing to be ashamed of, and everyone knows we can play with the best in the world.”

Persinger’s team played just over 20 games together before worlds, according to USA Curling. Their five-game winning streak included a victory over Canada’s Brad Gushue, the defending world champion, but Gushue’s rink topped the Americans 6-4 in the playoffs.

Persinger and team members Colin Hufman and Philip Tilker played for skip Brady Clark at November’s Olympic Trials and finished in last place out of five teams, going 1-7 in round-robin play.

Ruohonen, 47, was an alternate for Heath McCormick‘s team that was runner-up to Shuster at trials.

Shuster’s team was fourth, third and fifth at the previous three worlds, the best string of U.S. men’s or women’s results at that level in a decade.

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VIDEO: U.S. men’s curling team fails with ceremonial first pitches