Sweden takes bronze
by Andrew PODNIEKS|26 MAY 2024
photo: Matt Zambonin/IIHF
Carl Grundstrom broke a 2-2 tie off a giveaway by goalie Jordan Binnington to give Sweden a 4-2 victory over Canada in the bronze-medal game.

This is Sweden’s first medal since taking the gold in 2018. Canada is now 0-5 in bronze-medal games since last winning one in 1995. 

Despite the decades-long history between the two nations, this is only the second time they have played for the third-place medals. The first came back in 1999, in Lillehammer, Sweden prevailing, 3-2. Sweden built up a 3-0 lead through two periods in that game, then withstood a fierce comeback by Canada that fell just short.

Binnington cleared the puck up along the boards only to see Grundstrom pick it off and fire a high shot in one motion. It was his second goal of the game. Marcus Johansson then added an empty netter with 4.6 seconds remaining. It was back luck for Binnington, who had an otherwise excellent game, stopping 30 of 33 shots.

"It was a bouncing puck, and I just wanted to put it in the corner," Binnington explained. "It's unfortunate. We wanted to win the game and end the season with a win. It's frustrating. We worked hard this last month and came together as a group. It's tough that we have nothing to show for it."

"We came here to win the gold and we didn't, but at least we go home with bronze, which is way better than nothing," said Andre Burakovsky. "It was a hard game. I think a lot of guys were feeling tired. It's a long tournament, but we had a good talk at the hotel last night, and it's always fun to play Canada. We came out and wanted to win, and that's all that matters."

Canada started the game lacking all energy and inspiration, firing only four shots on Filip Gustavsson in the opening period. Tre Kronor got the only goal, at 12:05, off a blocked shot from the point. Linus Johansson got to the puck in front and made a quick, short pass to Grundstrom, who snapped a shot over the glove of Binnington.

The Canadians came out with far greater purpose in the second, getting the puck deep, chasing it down, and putting more pressure on the Swedish defence. They tied the game at 2:41 after some pressure led to Jamie Oleksiak coming up with the puck and getting it to Dylan Cozens in front. He snapped a shot past Gustavsson’s blocker for his tournament-leading ninth goal. 

Sweden had a great chance to go ahead again when Isac Lundestrom corralled a long flip pass and went in alone, but his shot clanged off the post and drifted into the corner. Andrew Mangiapane then had an even better chance to put Canada ahead, holding onto the puck while Gustavsson committed to the deke. But the Canadian then flipped a backhand high over the net.

Canada gained the upper hand early in the final period on a Pierre-Luc Dubois goal at 4:18. He finished an odd-man rush by drilling a one-timer into the top corner after taking a cross-ice pass from Brandon Hagel, who in turn had taken a pass from captain John Tavares coming over the blue line.

Five minutes later, though, Tre Kronor tied it up on a long point shot from Erik Karlsson that Binnington would liked to have back. It went all the way, without a screen, and beat him between the pads.

"We did our job," said Marcus Johansson. "We went out and played a pretty good game and in the end found a way to win. It was tough last night, but when you come to the rink and know you have a game to play, and it's against Canada, you don't want to lose."
Sweden vs Canada (Bronze) - 2024 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship