Published May 09, 2011
Canada is heading into the quarterfinals at this year's IIHF World Championship exactly where it wanted to be.
Brent Burns scored a power-play goal midway through the third period in Kosice, Slovakia, and Canada defeated Sweden 3-2 to clinch first place in Group F and set up a showdown with Russia in a quarterfinal.
James Neal and John Tavares had the other goals for Canada, which received strong goaltending from Jonathan Bernier.
"We wanted to win," Burns told the IIHF website. "We wanted to test ourselves and get better as the tournament goes along. We knew they'd be a big test. They're a great team with a lot of size and skill. Those are the games that are fun to be a part of."
David Petrasek and Mattias Tedenby scored as Sweden rallied from a pair of one-goal deficits. Sweden will face Germany in another quarterfinal.
It took just 68 seconds from the opening faceoff before Canadian captain Rick Nash fed Neal with a pass and he skated in for a shot that beat Erik Ersberg to start off the scoring. Sweden drew even not long after when Petrasek capitalized on the power-play rebound of a Patrik Berglund point shot Bernier had stopped.
Jeff Skinner helped set up Tavares' goal by coming off the left boards on his backhand and cutting in front to take a shot Ersberg stopped. Off the loose puck, Tavares scored on a scrum in front as Canada grabbed a 2-1 lead. But another power play for Sweden led to the tying goal by Tedenby.
"They're probably the best team, at least on paper," Swedish defenseman Carl Gunnarsson said, "so we had to go out there and fight every shift to keep up with these guys. All their lines are really good, and their power play is outstanding. It's always fun to play against them."