CALGARY, AB -- The Scotiabank Saddledome ice was again the stage for goals aplenty on Friday afternoon, only this time it would be at the hands of Sweden over Slovakia. The Swedes completely controlled the game from start to finish, concluding with a 9-1 win.
Reminiscent of their previous two games of World Junior tournament play, Sweden would strike first, only this time it would not be Max Friberg. Erik Thorell would pot the opening goal, but it wouldn’t take long for Friberg to make his presence known.
After Slovakia evened the slate seven minutes later, Friberg netted his tournament-leading sixth marker, tying him up with Team Canada’s Mark Stone. For a majority of the game it seemed like the puck was magnetized to the sticks of the Swedes, as they pelted Slovakian goalkeeper, Dominik Riecicky with 55 shots.
Sweden never wavered from their offensive push and piled goals on top of more goals to clinch the 9-1 win. Thorell capped off the game the same way it began for the finishing marker and his third point (2g,1a) of the contest.
Two other Swedes would put up three points on the afternoon, with 2011 New York Islanders draftee Johan Sundstrom tallying a goal and a pair of assists. The 2012 NHL entry draft eligible, Sebastian Collberg displayed plenty of pizzazz, chipping in two goals and an assist.
Team Sweden now looks forward to what is expected to be a blockbuster New Years Eve match-up against Russia. Sweden’s head coach, Roger Ronnberg expects it to be a battle.
“I think we have to play the same way we played today. A lot of traffic, we need to put a lot of pucks to him [Vasilevski]. I’ve seen the games he played, he doesn’t have so much traffic in front of him. He’s been a tremendous goalie but he’s seeing the puck,” Ronnberg commented on the impressive play of Russian netminder, Andrei Vasilevski, who has yet to allow a goal over two games and 70 shots.
The New Years Eve matchup will commence at 8pm at the Scotiabank Saddledome.