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Sweden Tops Switzerland For Gold Medal At Worlds

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche

The nation of Sweden celebrated a gold-medal winning effort Sunday at Globe Arena in Stockholm, while a tremendous run by Switzerland at the 2013 IIHF World Championship finally came to an end.

Jhonas Enroth stopped 26 shots and Henrik Sedin had two goals and an assist as Sweden recorded a 5-1 win over the surprising Swiss to claim gold for the first time since 2006.

It's Tre Kronor's ninth gold medal all-time at the Worlds. Sweden became the first host nation to win gold since the former Soviet Union accomplished the feat in Moscow in 1986.

"It's an unbelievable feeling. You can't put it into words," defenseman Henrik Tallinder told the IIHF website. "As soon as we got our legs and got that first goal, I thought we controlled the game pretty well."

Gabriel Landeskog maneuvers the puck between two Switzerland players during the championship final in Stockholm, Sweden. Landeskog had four points (3g/1a) in the tournament (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/HHOF-IIHF Images).

Switzerland, which won its first nine games of the tournament, had not medaled at the Worlds since 1953, when it took home bronze. Though a silver medal isn't what the Swiss entered Sunday seeking, it was still a historic achievement for the country's ice hockey program.

Switzerland briefly led in the first period when defenseman Roman Josi continued a tournament-long hot streak with his fourth goal at the 4:45 mark.

Enroth wouldn't let a puck past him after that, however, and Sweden recovered to take the lead before the opening 20 minutes had passed.

Switzerland goalie Martin Gerber hadn't faced a shot over the first 8:42 of the game, but he was beaten by defenseman Erik Gustafsson to knot the score. Sedin came through with the go-ahead goal at 11:38 on a power play.

"We had a really good start," said Gerber, who stopped 22 shots. "We were confident, but then out of the blue they tied it up and then had some penalties. We got lost for a while and had a hard time getting back on track."

Enroth, who received the Best Goalie award for the tournament, maintained the one-goal lead through the second period and into the third, when Sweden provided him with some insurance.

Simon Hjalmarsson made it 3-1 off a turnover by converting a Gabriel Landeskog pass at 7:13 and a Sedin point shot deflected in off the skate of Loui Eriksson with 4:23 remaining. Sedin had a shorthanded goal into an empty net with 3:24 remaining and Switzerland desperately trying to get back into the contest.

Landeskog said after the game that the feeling of winning the world championship hadn't set in yet.

"To be honest, I don’t think I even know right now what we’ve accomplished," Landeskog said. "We’re standing here talking about it, but we don’t know what we’re going through right now. Maybe in a few years down the road, or after our careers, we’ll be able to sit back and think about this. I didn’t think I’d be standing here at 20 years old with this gold medal around my neck."

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