CALGARY -- Sweden fired 17 first-period shots at Russian starter Andrei Makarov, but the teams were scoreless after the opening 20 minutes in the gold medal game at the World Junior Championship.
Sweden dominated from the onset of the game, allowing just three shots on goaltender Johan Gustafsson. In fact, it took Russia 12:34 to get a shot at Gustafsson -- and that was a weak shot that rolled of the stick of 2012 NHL Entry Draft eligible Nail Yakupov.
But Sweden couldn't get a puck past Makarov, who was somewhat of a surprise starter for Russian coach Valeri Bragin -- his decision to play Makarov over Andrei Vasilevski has paid off through the opening period.
Sweden's best opportunity came midway through the frame. Joakim Nordstrom redirected a shot from the point off the stick of Petter Granberg that was handled with great difficulty by Makarov.
It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.
— Montreal Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threaning illness