Staff and wire reports
OTTAWA – Sweden is on course for a gold-medal showdown with Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships.
The “Baby Kronor” scored four first-period goals, including two on the power play, to shut out Russia 5-0 on New Year’s Eve to gain an automatic berth in the semifinals. Sweden faces the winner of the U.S.-Slovakia quarterfinal game.
Andre Petersson scored twice for Sweden in the opening period to lead Sweden to the win. Simon Hjalmarsson, Mikael Backlund and Marcus Johansson also scored for Sweden. Jacob Markstrom stopped 31 shots for the shutout.
Russian Danila Alistratov allowed four goals on 12 shots before Vadim Zhelbnyuk replaced him. Zhelbnyuk stopped 25 of 26 shots.
Sweden scored twice on the power play in the first period and finished 2-for-8 overall with a man advantage while Russia was 0-for-3.
Petersson opened the scoring at 5:01 of the first, firing a shot between Alistratov's legs. Hjalmarsson made it 2-0 five minutes later, beating Alistratov with a shot to the glove side.
Sweden went ahead 3-0 with its first power-play goal. Alistratov misplayed the puck, allowing Petersson to score his second of the game. Backlund gave the Swedes a four-goal advantage with just over two minutes remaining to chase Alistratov.
Russia had several good chances in the second but couldn't capitalize. Midway through the period the Russians had a 2-on-1 advantage but couldn't even muster a shot on goal.
Johansson rounded out the scoring early in the third when he took the puck from the side boards and beat Zhelobnyuk to the glove side.
Andre Petersson skates down ice to score the opening goal in Sweden's 5-0 win over Russia Dec. 31 in the World Junior Hockey Championships.
Bildbyran photo/Joel Marklund