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Rangers prospect Jesper Fasth
will have to settle for bronze along with his Swedish teammates at the World Junior Championship after the Swedes fell to Russia 4-3 in an overtime shootout on Monday afternoon at Buffalo, N.Y.
The semifinal loss landed previously unbeaten Sweden in Wednesday's bronze medal game, where it will face Team USA, which fell to Canada 4-1 in Monday's other semifinal.
|Rangers 2010 sixth-round draft pick Jesper Fasth comes around from behind the Russian net during Monday's semifinal game. The Swedes fell to the Russians, and Fasth had an assist for his fifth point in five 2011 World Junior Championship games. |
Fasth, who played on the top line and power-play unit for Sweden, had a strong game with an assist, two shots on goal, and some prime scoring opportunities, but all of the Swedes were victimized by Russian goaltender Dmitri Shikin, who stood on his head throughout the game.
Shikin finished with 46 saves through the three periods of regulation time and a 10-minute overtime. He then stopped all three Swedish shooters -- Oscar Lindberg
, Sebastian Wannstrom, and Anton Lander -- in the shootout. Denis Golubev scored the lone shootout goal for the Russians.
Sweden dominated play for much of the game, outshooting Russia 49-32, but Shikin was the difference.
The Russians jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Vladimir Tarasenko scored an even-strength goal at 6:37 of the opening period. Russia outshot Sweden 14-13 in the first, as Shikin made 13 saves, including one against Fasth.
In the second period, Russia stretched its lead to 2-0 on a goal by Golubev at the 7:09 mark, but Sweden came back to make it 2-1 with a power-play goal at 17:59 of the second. Adam Larsson scored the goal off assists from Rickard Rakell and Jesper Thornberg. The Swedes outshot the Russians 16-7 in the middle period, and through 40 minutes, Sweden had a 29-21 advantage in shots. Over the final 30 minutes, including overtime, the Swedes outshot the Russians 20-7.
Sweden managed to tie the game 2-2 at even strength just 1:20 into the third period, with Fasth picking up the primary assist on Calle Larsson's tying goal.
Sweden took the lead when it capitalized on a late power-play opportunity after Russian defenseman Dmitri Orlov took a slashing penalty in the offensive zone. Patrik Cehlin got the go-ahead goal off a blast from the left point at 16:41 of the third, just 33 seconds after Orlov was sent to the penalty box.
Russia managed to tie the game in miraculous fashion -- forcing the overtime with 1:27 to go when Sergei Kalinin dove into the crease to bat a loose puck past Swedish goalie Robin Lehner during a scramble in front.