Marcus Kruger, the Blackhawks' fitth-round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, and the Sweden World Junior Championship team defeated Switzerland, 11-4, for the bronze medal at the Inernational Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World U20 Championship tournament. Sweden outshot the Swiss, 50-20.
Sweden breezed through the preliminary rounds knocking off the Czech Republic (10-1), Austria (7-3), Russia (4-1) and Finland (4-0). Sweden moved into the semi-final round for the third straight year, and were looking to best their two previous silver medal finishes. Sweden faced the eventual gold medal winners team USA, falling 2-5.
“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 to IIHF.com. “We have to learn to win such games."
Kruger tallied six assists and a +7 plus/minus rating in six games played during the IIHF WJC. The talented Djurgårdens IF rookie leads the team with 27 points (9 goals, 18 assists) in 30 games this season, which is good for 12th among scoring leaders in the Swedish Elite League.