It was close for much of the game, with both sides trading big saves, big hits and bad penalties through the first two periods. Jack Johnson put the USA ahead 1-0 in the second period with a big blast from the point on the power play, but Sweden answered quickly.
Loui Eriksson scored a power play goal late in the second period to tie the game at one, deftly one-timing a great pass from the behind the net as he fell to the ice. Minutes later, with Sweden on a 5 on 3 advantage, Eriksson had an assist as Tony Martensson scored to put the USA down 2-1.
Joe Pavelski tied the game at two early in the third period, taking the puck end to end before burying a nifty wrist shot past Swedish goaltender Stefan Liv. The game stayed tied only briefly before Carl Gunnarsson scored yet another power play goal to put Sweden ahead 3-2.
The US tried desperately to even the score in third, putting 12 shots on net in the final frame. The Americans had a power play opportunity with eight minutes remaining, but were unable to muster a sustained attack. Frustration then led to aggression and the US took several penalties in the final minutes before Sweden iced the game with an empty-netter.
Nicklas Grossman had 9:20 of ice time, with no points and no shots on goal. Matt Niskanen played 17:25 with two shots and no points. Niskanen was one of the players in the penalty box when Sweden went ahead 2-1.
The USA has not won a medal since 2004. Despite playing both Sweden and Russia down to the wire, this has to be yet another disappointing finish on the international stage for the Americans. Team USA gets it's next shot in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Canada and Russia face off for the gold medal later today.
For complete updates on how the Dallas Stars players performed in the World Championships, be sure to head over to Andrew's Dallas Stars Page.