CALGARY, AB -- Mikael Backlund’s best season to date was extended with a trip to the 2014 IIHF World Championship.
So too as his success, it seems.
Backlund scored twice to lift Sweden to a 3-0 win over Denmark on Saturday. The 25-year-old, who established new career bests with 18 goals, 21 assists and 39 points with the Calgary Flames this season, was also named Sweden’s top player in the game.
Though he played just 3:01 in his tournament opener, Sean Monahan saw his ice time increase to 9:18 in Canada’s 4-1 win over Slovakia. The 19-year-old won 60 percent of his faceoffs while recording a plus-2 rating in his 14 shifts.
After recording two goals and an assist in his opener, Johnny Gaudreau was held off the scoresheet in the United States’ 3-2 victory over Switzerland. Gaudreau played 16:08 and recorded three shots on former Flames goaltender Reto Berra, who took the loss for the Swiss. Sven Baertschi, who was injured in Switzerland’s opener Friday, did not play.
The Czech Republic and Jiri Hudler, who had an assist in the tournament opener, did not play Saturday.