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Ohlund scores in return to Vancouver

by Dan Rosen
VANCOUVER -- Swedish defenseman Mattias Ohlund came back to his old city for more than just the Olympics.

"I dropped the keys from my old house off two days ago," Ohlund told "I just sold it."

He may not live here anymore, but Ohlund, who spent 11 seasons as a Canuck before going to Tampa Bay this season, was thrilled to be back for such a huge event. He greeted some of his old fans with a slap shot they became so familiar with over the years.

Ohlund scored what turned out to be the game-winner in Sweden's 2-0 victory over Germany on Wednesday with a slap shot from the left circle into the far corner of the net. The puck zipped by Thomas Greiss, who may have been touched by a screening Daniel Sedin before the puck went in.

Ohlund didn't seem to care much if Sedin, his former teammate here in Vancouver, touched Greiss because the goal stood. Loui Eriksson scored nearly 10 minutes later and Sweden held on for the victory.

For Ohlund, though, his Olympic opener in his former town was an experience he couldn't even define. The goal was merely the icing for him.

"I had 11 fantastic years here and my two kids were born here," he said. "I spent so many years here. It's a special place, a great place to play hockey. Being a part of the Olympics in this city, it's tough to find words to describe how special it is."

Entering the tournament, Ohlund was probably the most unlikely Swede to score a big goal. He doesn't yet have one for the Lightning despite playing in 54 games, and he scored only 93 in 770 games as a Canuck.

Team Sweden Gear However, he does have a good slap shot and it's something the Canucks used to use on the power play. Thirty-six of his 93 career goals have come on the man advantage.

"Of course, some guys you have higher expectations to be goal scorers, but everybody can score," Sweden coach Bengt-Ake Gustafsson said. "In his case, it was a good shot and whether the goalie was touched or not, (Mattias) Weinhandl was right in front of him and he didn't see anything. It was a good hockey goal."

And a memorable one for the former Vancouver resident.

"Maybe 13 days from now it would be even better," Ohlund joked. "It's extra special."

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