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Dansk helps Sweden beat U.S.

by Adam Kimelman

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Silver never will be as good as gold, but Sweden goalie Oscar Dansk still was able to enjoy a win against USA White in the opener of USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp on Sunday.

It was the first time Sweden and the United States had met since the gold-medal game of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, when the Americans' won the gold medal with a 3-1 victory. Dansk was the third goalie for that game.

Sunday, however, he was the starter and made 15 saves on 17 shots in Sweden's 4-2 victory.

"It felt really good," Dansk, a Columbus Blue Jackets prospect, told "I thought our team stuck together through the whole game,"

After watching most of last year's tournament from the press box -- he dressed as the backup in one game, but never saw the ice. Dansk has a chance to be the starter for the 2014 WJC, which will be played in Malmo, Sweden.

However, he said he won't put any more pressure on himself to earn a spot. Instead, he said he'll spend more time focusing on improving his numbers with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League. In 43 games he was 11-23-6 with 4.11 goals-against average and .826 save percentage on a team that finished with the second-fewest points in the league.

"It was obviously a tough year, lots of ups and downs," Dansk said. "I feel like I learned a few things about myself, about not getting too worked up, staying calm. I can't score goals. I just have to wait for the puck to come to me. I learned a few things about myself."

He hopes he can grow from last season's adversity and use it to help him earn the top spot in net for Sweden when the WJC starts Dec. 26.

"It would be a huge honor, for sure," Dansk said. "That's what you play for. You play for those moments, so it would be huge."


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