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Sweden stays perfect at World Junior A Challenge

by Mike G. Morreale
Two games, two shutouts for Team Sweden at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge in Langley, B.C.

Just one day after scoring a 1-0 victory over Team USA in its preliminary-round opener behind a 44-save effort by Oscar Dansk, fellow goalie Mathias Israelsson stopped 37 shots to help lead the Swedes to a 2-0 triumph over Canada West on Tuesday. With the victory, Sweden claimed sole possession of first place in Group A.

The Swedes received a pair of power-play goals -- Erik Karlsson scored a power-play goal eight minutes into the first and Jesper Pettersson knocked in an insurance goal with the man advantage early in the third.

Sean Maguire of Canada West made 28 saves in defeat. Sweden will next play Friday against an opponent to be determined in the tournament semifinals. Canada West closes out its preliminary-round schedule against the United States (0-1) on Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. ET.

In the other preliminary round contest on Tuesday, Martin Prochazka scored the game-winning goal 8:59 into the third period to give the Czech Republic a 4-3 victory over Russia in Group B. Prochazka drove down left wing and snuck a backhand past Russian goalie Andrey Vasilevski to give the Czechs their first World Junior A Challenge triumph in the country's history.

The team would then survive a late offensive assault by the Russians, which held a 6-on-4 advantage in the latter stages. Alexei Filippov, Arseni Khatsei and Alexei Kudreman scored for the Russians, who rallied from a 3-1 deficit to square the contest midway through the second.

Radim Matus had a goal and two assists for the Czechs, which received a 40-save performance by Patrik Polivka.

Russia will battle Canada East in its final preliminary-round match on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET and the Czech Republic will await the conclusion of round-robin action to determine its playoff-round opponent.
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