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Backlund bursts onto international scene

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- While Mikael Backlund may not have ended the IIHF world championships the way he would have liked to, his overall performance throughout the tournament has turned heads.

Backlund went into the tournament on a strong note, coming off an impressive first full NHL season in which he scored 10 goals and 25 points. He ended the championships with three goals, two assists, a +4 rating and 22 shots on net.

Sweden captured silver on Sunday, falling 6-1 to Finland. Despite the loss, Sweden head coach Par Marts was impressed with how his team, particularly the younger players, handled themselves through the tournament.

"I'm happy, if you can be that when you've lost the final, but I think I'm proud of the Swedish guys for doing a pretty good tournament," he told the National Post. "Not the best. We can do better. But this is the start of something for us."

The 22 year-old was a key factor in the Swedes ability to move on to the finals. He had a goal, a assist and seven shots on net in the 5-2 semi-final victory over the Czech Republic last week. For his efforts, he was named player of the game.

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