CALGARY – The gold medal game of the World Junior Championship is heading to overtime.
It’s not uncommon territory for the two teams, who met in the extra period back on New Year’s Eve. Joakim Nordstrom was the hero in that one, scoring 2:44 in to give Sweden a 3-2 victory.
Despite building a 50-16 advantage in shots, Sweden couldn’t manage to beat Russian starter Andrei Makarov over 60 minutes. The Russians, who threw a decent share at Johan Gustafsson, couldn’t get on the board either.
The 0-0 tie means both teams will play a 20-minute 4-on-4. If neither team scores, the game advances to a shootout.
Though heavily outplaying Russia throughout the contest, Sweden may feel lucky to get there.
With 32 seconds remaining, Russian captain Yevgeni Kuznetsov found Nikita Gusev on the doorstep with a no-look, spinning backhand pass. Gusev couldn’t get it behind Gustafsson, who has gone long stretches in the game without any action.
Though the action was a little more even in the third period, Sweden dominated Russia through the first 40 minutes of action.
Sweden has outshot Russia 39-4 through two periods, including firing 22 shots at Makarov in the second period alone.
It was the same story in the first period, when 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.
But Sweden has yet to get a puck past Makarov, who was somewhat of a surprise starter for Russian coach Valeri Bragin. Bragin’s inclination to play Makarov over Andrei Vasilevski has paid off throughout the game.