LANGLEY, B.C. – Oscar Dansk made 44 saves for the shutout in a goaltending performance for the ages and Ludvig Nilsson scored the game's only goal with just six seconds to go as Sweden knocked off the United States 1-0 in the Group A opener at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge on Monday night.
Dansk made 14 saves in the first period, 18 in the second and 12 more in the third to help the Swedes to their first win over the three-time defending gold medallists and just their second win ever at the tournament – they beat Russia 5-4 in last year's fifth-place game.
The shutout was the second of the day at the World Junior A Challenge, following Canada East goaltender Adrian Ignagni's clean sheet against the Czech Republic. In the first five years of the tournament – a span of 65 games – not a single shutout was recorded.
Dansk kept the Swedes in the game long enough for Nilsson to sneak a shot past U.S. netminder Zane Gothberg, who made 23 saves of his own in a losing cause.
Nilsson stepped over the blue line and snapped a shot off the shoulder of Gothberg, who turned and watched helplessly and the puck rolled across the goal line with the seconds ticking away.
The game was the first 1-0 game in tournament history.
The Swedes will look to build on the upset win when they take on Canada West on Tuesday night (7:30 p.m. PT), while the U.S. will try to rebound against the Canadians on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. PT).
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)