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WJC: Sweden tops Denmark, Switzerland wins debut

by Staff Writer / Winnipeg Jets

Captain Jacob de la Rose had one goal and two assists Saturday to lead Sweden to a 5-1 win against Denmark at Air Canada Centre in a Group B preliminary-round game of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

In the second Group B game, Switzerland scored three times in the second period and beat the Czech Republic 5-2.

De la Rose (Montreal Canadiens) scored 13 seconds into the second period to give Sweden (2-0-0-0) a commanding 4-0 lead.

With the win, Sweden (2-0-0-0) leads Group B with six points. Denmark (0-0-1-1) is third with one point.

William Nylander (Toronto Maple Leafs) scored his second goal of the tournament with 33 seconds left in the first to cap a three-goal period for Sweden.

"It was really important for us to get that first goal," defenseman William Lagesson (Edmonton Oilers) told the IIHF website. "It helped us relax and put the pressure on them."

Swedish defenseman Sebastian Aho (2015 draft-eligible) and forwards Anton Blidh (Boston Bruins) and Lucas Wallmark (Carolina Hurricanes) each had one goal and one assist.

Adrian Kempe (Los Angeles Kings) did not play after scoring twice in Sweden's 5-2 win against the Czech Republic in the opener on Friday.

Wallmark opened the scoring at 9:48 of the first period, followed by goals from Blidh and Nylander.

Forward Nick Olesen scored the lone goal for Denmark 1:01 into the second period.

"We had a really good game [Friday]," Denmark forward Nikolaj Ehlers (Winnipeg Jets) said of a 3-2 shootout loss to Russia, "and we wanted to bounce back today, but we didn't play our best. I know the guys are really excited for the next game."

Swedish goalie Linus Soderstrom (New York Islanders) made 16 saves for his second win of the tournament.

Denmark goaltender George Sorensen allowed three goals on nine shots and was pulled after the first period. Thomas Lillie made 12 saves in relief.

Sweden returns to action against Russia and Denmark will face the Czech Republic at Air Canada Centre on Monday.

Switzerland 5, Czech Republic 2

Forward Kevin Fiala scored two goals to lead Switzerland past the Czech Republic in its first game of the tournament.

The three points moved Switzerland (1-0-0-0) into second place in Group B. The Czech Republic (0-0-0-2) is last with two games remaining in its preliminary schedule.

Fiala, selected by the Nashville Predators with the 11th pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, gave Switzerland a 1-0 lead 46 seconds into the first period.

Goals by Marek Ruzicka and Lucas Klok in a span of less than four minutes gave the Czech Republic a 2-1 lead before Fiala tied the game 2-2 at 11:37 with a power-play goal. Forward Timo Meier (2015 draft eligible) assisted on each of Fiala's goals.

"I was really nervous before the game," Fiala said, according to the IIHF website, "because we knew this was perhaps the most important game of the tournament for us. The first game always is, but I was focused and 100 percent ready."

The Swiss took control in the second period with two quick goals. Noah Rod (San Jose Sharks) scored 45 seconds into the period and Tim Wieser gave Switzerland a 4-2 lead 44 seconds later.

Swiss forward Luca Fazzini capped the scoring with a power-play goal at 14:41 of the second period. Switzerland controlled the tempo in the scoreless third period.

"We watched them from the stands yesterday [against Sweden] to see what they were like, so we were ready today, for sure," Fiala said.

Swiss goaltender Gauthier Descloux made 27 saves. Vitek Vanecek allowed five goals on 35 shots for the Czech Republic.

Forward David Pastrnak, a first-round selection of the Boston Bruins in the 2014 NHL Draft, had one assist for the Czech Republic.

Switzerland will face Russia at Air Canada Centre on Sunday. The Czech Republic plays Denmark on Monday.

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