Mitch Marner scored late in the third period to save Canada after blowing a huge third period lead in a 7-6 win against Sweden in their last game before the 2016 World Junior Hockey Championship in Helsinki on Wednesday.
It was an insane game, where Canada blew a 5-1 and 6-2 leads in the third period and three Sweden goals went through the same net and needed to be confirmed on video review.
Montreal Canadiens prospect Lukas Vejdemo, the Canadiens last prospect with a chance to make a tournament roster, was on Sweden's first penalty kill unit and had many shifts shorthanded for the Swedes which could be a good sign, but we said the same thing about Noah Juulsen who was cut from Team Canada.
Vejdemo took defensive zone faceoffs and almost had a nice shorthanded goal in the second period after causing a turnover on the forecheck.
Mason McDonald made two big saves on Oskar Lindblom midway through the first period to keep the game scoreless after Canada failed on an early power play.
Jake Virtanen opened the scoring for Canada as he stole the puck at the blue line, walked in all alone and beat Sweden goaltender Linus Soderstrom. It was the type of play you see from a player who came from the NHL to the World Juniors.
A few minutes later, Virtanen almost put himself in the net as he followed up a shot on a 3 on 1 and barrelled into Soderstrom. He received a penalty for goaltender interference on the play.
On a different power play, Sweden tied the game at 1 as Lindblom finished a pass from Axel Holmstrom to beat McDonald from the slot.
Canada took the lead in the second period as Perlini created a turnover, passed the puck to Matthew Barzal who found Dylan Strome to put it past Soderstrom. Perlini was the player who really impressed me in this one.
Mitchell Stevens took advantage of Michael Nylander and Andreas Englund colliding to pick up the loose puck and take it to the net to beat Soderstrom to give Canada a 3-1 lead.
Virtanen scored his second goal of the game on the power play on a nice play by Mitch Marner to open a 4-1 lead. Seconds after, Haydn Fleury scored on a soft wrist shot from the blue line. It was probably the only goal that Soderstrom would want back. He was pulled after that goal, which made it 5-1.
Sweden scored an odd goal in the third as the Marcus Petterson shot went through the net. A video review overturned the call on the ice that it missed the net. They scored shortly after as Jacob Larsson scored to make it 5-3 which led to Canada calling a time out.
The goals kept coming as Perlini scored to beat Erik Kallgren, who replaced Soderstrom, 18 seconds later to restore a 6-3 lead for Canada. All three goals were scored in the first two minutes of the third period.
Holmstrom scored in the third on a wrist shot to make it 6-4. Moments later, Alexander Nylander broke in on a partial break but fanned on the backhand.
Canada took three straight penalties in the third allowing Sweden to have an extended 5 on 3. On that, Sweden scored another goal through the net as Adrian Kempe scored a second goal through the net (it appeared to be a different hole) to cut the Canadian lead to 6-5 with under five minutes left. Sweden completed the comeback as Petterson scored his second goal, and made his second hole in the net.
The two teams will meet in Pool A action on New Year's Eve.