US NJEC: Sweden Holds Off USA White 4-3


In the first scrimmage of the day at the US National Junior Development Camp, USA White took on Sweden. Jonas Johansson started in net for Sweden, and he had an amazing game. Evan Cowley, after having a decent performance in yesterdays scrimmage got the nod for White.

In another move, Boston College commit Sonny Milano switched from the Blue team to White after a decent game yesterday. The move was to “add a little competitive balance”.

The game began with some great end to end action, and Cowley came up with a couple good saves. It looked as if it would be a good game for him.

After some impressive skating by Milano, he had the puck stripped from him and was called for a slashing penalty in frustration. More good saves by Cowley, and a nice forecheck by Schmaltz ultimately led to the Swedes coming up scoreless on that power play attempt.

16 year old Auston Matthews created a great opportunity, but Johansson made what would be the first of many impressive saves throughout the game.

The first goal came off the stick of Axel Holmstrom for Sweden. They wouldn’t stop there. Just a few minutes later, Anton Karlsson scored on a 2 on 1 break by Sweden to increase the lead to 2-0.

Sweden was called for two penalties right at the end of the first to give USA a short 5 on 3 power play, but they could not capitalize.

To start the second, Sweden managed to kill off both penalties. Not much happened until about 10 minutes into the second when Hudson Fasching blocked a Swedish shot and set up a breakaway for USA White, but their shot was blocked as well.

Thatcher Demko, a sophomore at Boston College, then came in for Cowley. Evan Cowley finished with 13 saves on 15 shots and 2 goals against.

Over a minute and half into a power play for USA White, J.T. Compher took a penalty. After 4 on 4 time was up, Sweden put on a passing clinic, and Lucas Wallmark finished it off to give Sweden a 3-0 lead.

A few powerplays later for USA, Johansson made an incredible save which set Sweden out on a break, and Anton Karlsson netted his second goal, this one coming shorthanded. 4-0 Sweden.

Before the end of the second Auston Matthews moved around with the puck, dropped a pass off beside the net, and got into the middle of the ice. He was rewarded with a nice pass, and finished it off with a beautiful goal. This would end the second, and light a fire under USA White.

They came out for the third with a great first shift and were rewarded with a power play. USA White took advantage. Nick Schmaltz skated around the boards, gave a nice feed to fellow Hawks prospect Anthony Louis, who was able to sneak it in past Johansson.

A few shifts later, USA turned the puck over and Sweden had a 2 on 1 break, but Demko made a very impressive save on the shot.

Then it was Matthews again! After some impressive puck handling, he got in front of the net. Will Butcher fired a shot from the blue line which was redirected into the net for Matthews’ second goal of the night. That would make it 4-3 Sweden. USA had a little over 5 minutes to tie it up.

They couldn’t.

After a frenzied few shifts with a lot of great chances and saves by Johansson, the final buzzer sounded, and Sweden came away with the win.

Demko made 5 saves on 7 shots. Johansson finished with 39 saves on 42 shots!

The US National Evaluation Camp concludes tomorrow with two more scrimmages!

Thanks for reading.