Sweden wins bronze medal at junior hockey World Championship. The Swedish junior national team arrived at the 2010 IHF World Under-20 Hockey Championship with a simple goal.
Staff and wire reports
(SASKATOON, Sask.—) “I got the silver last year, so I really wanted to upgrade that to a gold medal this year,” said goalie Jacob Markström.
Sweden returned a team loaded with junior hockey veterans for this year’s tournament, veterans that took silver in 2008 and 2009 in losses to defending champions Canada. The Swedes were out for some revenge but instead, lost an ugly semifinal against the United States and wound up in the bronze-medal game Jan. 5.
“We had one bad game against the U.S. You have to play your best game in the semi-finals and we didn’t, so we must be happy with the bronze medals,” said Sweden head coach Pär Mårts. “We have to learn to win such games. Today our guys stayed focused and went for it. We wanted to create more traffic and to go harder on the rebounds, which we didn’t do so well before.”
The Swedes took their frustrations out on Switzerland, which lost to Canada in the other semifinal. André Petersson scored a hat trick for Tre Kronor, while Daniel Brodin and Jakob Silfverberg had two goals each as Sweden hammered Switzerland 11-4.
The 15 goals was the most scored by two teams in a World Juniors bronze game. Sweden’s 11 goals also set a third-place record.
Sweden showed more skill, depth and power than the Swiss, who have looked worn out since their surprising quarterfinal victory over Russia.
“I think our team was really tired,” said Swiss forward Nino Niederreiter. “When I think back, it seems like we have never had a good game against Sweden. We can't be losing 11-4 to Sweden, but they've got a good team.”
The Swedes encountered little resistance in the first period. Dennis Rasmussen opened the scoring on a rebound near the four-minute mark, following up on a shot from Martin Lundberg.
Tre Kronor then scored four more goals within eight minutes to crush Swiss hopes of winning their second bronze medal ever after 1998.
Anton Lander scored on his own rebound at 11:44. Andre Petersson surprised Switzerland goalkeeper Benjamin Conz, who was not taken out during the game, with a shot from a sharp angle that made it 3-0 on the power play. Four minutes later, he beat Conz with a shot that got through the netminder’s pads. Mattias Tedenby made it 5-0 at 19:04.
The Swedish scoring streak continued at 3:17 of the middle frame. Conz couldn't control the puck after a Swedish attack, while a Swiss teammate slid into the goal as Silfverberg shot the puck in. Thirty-nine seconds later, Daniel Brodin made it 7-0.
“We came out and we did a very good game, but the semi-final loss against the U.S. still hurts us a lot,” said Sweden forward Magnus Pääjärvi Svensson. “Maybe the frustration was the reason we executed so well against Switzerland.”
The game became less lopsided after the seventh marker for Tre Kronor. Michaël Loichat scored the first Swiss goal at 26:30 with a lucky drive from the blueline that beat Markström with the eighth Swiss shot of the game. However, Silfverberg and Brodin then scored their second goals of the game on the power play.
The Swiss replied with three goals within three minutes from Dominik Schlumpf during a man-advantage, Jeffrey Füglister at even strength, and Nino Niederreiter during a 5-on-3 power play.
The game ended with Petersson completing his hat trick with a shorthander at 38:40. David Rundblad scored the lone goal of the closing stanza for the final score of 11-4.
Sweden played without captain Marcus Johansson, who took a match penalty and one-game suspension for elbowing Jerry D'Amigo versus the Americans in the semifinals.
D’Amigo had a pair of goals as the U.S. beat Sweden 5-2 to reach the finals against Canada.
Anton Lander celebrates after scoring against Switzerland in Sweden's 11-4 win Jan. 5 in the bronze medal game of the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships. Bildbyran photo/Joel Marklund