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WJC 2017: Semifinal, Canada vs. Sweden, Wednesday, Jan. 4

Hold onto your butts, this is going to be a tense one.

MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 02: Goaltender Connor Ingram #1 of Team Canada makes a makes a save.
Minas Panagiotakis / Getty Images

United States vs. Russia

Time: 3:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Bell Center

Streaming: NHL Network, TSN 1/3/4/5/4K

Sweden vs. Canada

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: Bell Center

Streaming: NHL Network, TSN 1/3/4/5/4K

Preview of Sweden vs. Canada

Sweden remains undefeated at the WJC. Led by Alex Nylander (who also leads the WJC in points at 11), the Swedes have out-scored all of the opposition they've faced so far (Denmark, Switzerland, Finland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia) by a combined 26 goals to 9.

Team Sweden's coach, Tomas Monten, is riding on the team's underdog status. Before the tournament, he pointed out to Patrik B of Habs Eyes on the Prize that Team Sweden has far fewer first-round draft picks in its roster than other countries, especially Team Canada.

Monten has also calmly deflected accusations of bending under pressure leveled by Team Canada's coach, Dominique Ducharme. Monten said that unlike last year, where the Swedes were highly touted yet finished fourth, this year's Team Sweden is unlikely to choke. Monten said to TSN, "I think we have a group that doesn't feel the pressure. We haven't been the favourites and we don't feel like that going into this game either."

Buffalo Sabres’ prospect Alexander Nylander has clear memories of last year's WJC losses. Nylander told TSN that the Swedes’ poor showing has spurred him onward in this tournament: "I'm really revengeful and I think my team is as well. I'm trying to take away what I learned and experienced last year and hopefully it won't happen again."

Although Sweden has won every game they've played, they have yet to face the type of high-level competition that Team Canada has already faced in their loss to Team USA. On Monday, Canada played just well enough to defeat Team Czech Republic and make it to the semifinal bracket.

According to captain Dylan Strome, the key to winning is taking short shifts: "You think you're doing so much when you're out there for longer periods of time, but you're not. You're staying out there too long and it's causing guys on the bench to not get out there as much and I think when we do that we're not as successful. So I think short shifts, keep them to 30 or 40 seconds (is important). We're a four-line team and we come in waves."

Team Canada’s lines have changed since they defeated the much weaker Team Czech Republic. Tyson Jost has replaced Pierre-Luc Dubois on the top line with captain Dylan Strome, to try to achieve some of the scoring chemistry that’s been sorely lacking there. Dubois replaces Jost on the third line. The second line of two Bolts and Mathew Barzal remains intact, as does the fourth line of Dillo Dubé, Anthony Cirelli, and Mitchell Stephens.

Will Team Canada manage to push through to the final, or will they suffer a defeat? Their defense will be hard pressed tonight, as will their goaltending.

Connor Ingram will be the starter tonight against Team Sweden.

Team Canada lines

Forwards

Tyson Jost - Dylan Strome - Blake Speers

Mathieu Joseph - Mathew Barzal - Taylor Raddysh

Pierre-Luc Dubois - Nicolas Roy - Julien Gauthier

Dillon Dubé - Anthony Cirelli - Mitchell Stephens

Michael McLeod

Defense

Thomas Chabot - Kale Clague

Jake Bean - Noah Juulsen

Jeremy Lauzon - Dante Fabbro

Goaltenders

Connor Ingram

Carter Hart

Team Sweden Lines

Forwards

Erikkson Ek - Asplund - Nylander

Dahlen - Grundstrom - Looke

Andersson - Karlstrom - Ahl

Petersson - Karlsson - Wingerli

Defense

Kylington - Carlsson

Bernhardt - Dahlen

Larsson - Gunnarsson

Goaltenders

Sandström

Gustavsson