Team Europe notched their first win of the pre-tournament games with a 6-2 victory over Team Sweden, Wednesday night at Verizon Center. Team Europe, who was coming off of a pair of losses to the “young guns” of Team North America, bounced back, aided by a hat trick by Leon Draisaitl. Both teams will now travel to Toronto for the World Cup of Hockey (WCH) tournament that starts this Saturday.
The Swedes and Team Europe battled evenly through the first period until Leon Draisaitl scored the games first goal at 8:53.
The period ended with Team Europe up 1-0 over the Swedes — their first lead of the exhibition games. Shots on Goal were even 10-10.
Tomas Tatar would stretch Team Europe’s lead to 2-0 on a nasty snipe from the left dot at 2:48 of the middle period.
Leon Draisaitl made it 3-0 for Team Europe, 16:54 minutes into the second period.
Daniel Sedin would notch Team Sweden’s first goal of the game, with assists from Erik Karlsson and Oliver Ekman-Larsson at 17:07.
The period would end with Team Europe up 3-1 over Team Sweden.
At 14:58 in the period, Team Europe’s Thomas Vanek turned a steal into the team’s fourth goal of the game. Less than two minutes later Draisaitl scored his third goal of the game, giving Team Europe a 5-1 lead.
Wisely, the Swedes replaced top netminder Henrik Lundqvist with backup Jacob Markstrom. At 15:09 Victor Hedman blasted a slapshot and Patric Hornqvist tiped it in for the score, making it 5-2, Team Europe. Team Europe’s Capitan Anze Kopitar added an empty netter with 32 seconds left in the game to seal the victory for Team Europe.
Scenes from Verizon Center
By Jon Sorensen