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Sweden coach took positives from loss to Canada

by Adam Kimelman

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Despite a 7-3 loss to Canada on Thursday, Sweden coach Rickard Gronborg said he saw some positive things from his team.

"We did a great job of coming back from the 4-0 deficit to come back to a 4-3 situation at the start of the third period," he said. "In the third period we ran out of gas. A team like Canada, they'll take full advantage of that.

"We can't be slacking like that and have a period off or even time in a period off because they're going to capitalize right away. At the same time, I saw some good things last night with a short bench with injures. I saw some character coming back from 4-0 to 4-3 and make a game out of it. It's a game where you lose but you learn quite a bit from that loss."

Sweden started the game without two of its top six forwards, with right wing Sebastian Collberg (right knee) and center Oskar Sundqvist (neck) out. During the game they lost center David Gunnarsson to a groin injury, and a few other players were banged up and at less than 100 percent.

"We have a couple other question marks right now," Gronborg said. "We had a couple more injuries [Thursday] and we're still evaluating right now. We'll get a definite answer from my medical staff by [Saturday]. We should know who we have access to. That's part of a tournament like this, when it's physical games against North American teams. We need to do a better job of making sure we're ready for that."

Collberg and Gunnarsson will not play Saturday in the camp finale against Finland, but Gronborg said he expects Sundqvist and goaltender Oscar Dansk to be in the lineup. Dansk, a Columbus Blue Jackets prospect, has been scratched the past two games after being hit in the mask with a puck during practice.

With Dansk out and Marcus Hogberg ineffective against Canada on Thursday, Gronborg got a chance to get goaltender Jonas Johansson some action. One of the top goaltending prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft, the 6-foot-3.75, 187-pound player stopped four of seven shots he saw in 35 minutes of action. However, Gronborg wasn't about to blame his 17-year-old goalie too much. He allowed the first puck he saw to get past him when Kerby Rychel scored to the short side to make it 4-0 in the second, but two of the three goals he allowed in the third came off Sweden defensive-zone turnovers.

"It was a tough game for him," Gronborg said. "The goals they scored in the third period, they were all right in the slot. We more or less had assists on two of the three. It was a tough game for him, but at the same time he's such a competitor, it's good for him to go through stuff like that and pick up his game."

Gronborg would not commit to a starting goalie for Saturday, but said if Dansk is healthy enough to play he would start.


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