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Flyers goaltending prospect Sandstrom helps Sweden top U.S.

by Mike G. Morreale / Philadelphia Flyers

Goaltender Felix Sandstrom, a third-round pick (No. 70) of the Philadelphia Flyers at the 2015 NHL Draft, rebounded nicely Thursday from a disastrous start three days earlier at United States National Junior Evaluation Camp.

Sandstrom made 25 saves on 27 shots to lead Sweden to a 5-2 exhibition victory against the U.S. at Lake Placid Olympic Center's 1980 Herb Brooks Arena.

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The victory comes after Sandstrom (6-foot-2, 192 pounds) allowed 10 goals in a 10-4 loss against the U.S. white squad Monday. It was a win Sandstrom desperately needed, particularly with goalie Erik Kallgren likely to start against Finland on Friday in Sweden's final game of the camp.

Sandstrom had a 2.63 goals-against average and .907 save percentage in 14 games for Brynas' junior team last season. He also played two games for Brynas in the Swedish Hockey League and had a 1.09 GAA and .963 save percentage.

He missed some time last season because of a bout with mono and an injury, causing his stock to drop prior to the 2015 draft. Sandstrom watched the draft from his home in Gavle, Sweden.

Sandstrom is just hoping to lock up a spot on the Sweden National Junior Team for the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, to be held in Helsinki, Finland, from Dec. 26, 2015, through Jan. 5, 2016.

"I want to take a place on the senior team, over in Sweden with Brynas," Sandstrom said. "I also want to play in the [World Junior Championship] in Finland. I need to take some steps up, then come over here and play a year or so in American Hockey League."

U.S. coach Ron Wilson felt his team wasn't shooting enough against Sandstrom, who faced 39 shots Monday.

"In that third period, we weren't quite as sharp and were confused on some of the rush chances and didn't pick up the open guys, but the first two periods, we definitely should have had a bigger lead," he said. "We hit the post three or four times and missed some other opportunities where we should have shot. We were always trying for a prettier play, but we have to learn to shoot the puck if we want to score."

Sweden also received solid performances from Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (Boston Bruins) and Joel Eriksson Ek (Minnesota Wild), who each finished with a goal and an assist.

Forward Jeremy Bracco (Toronto Maple Leafs) and defenseman Noah Hanifin (Carolina Hurricanes) scored for the United States, which will close out the camp against Finland on Saturday.

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