Team Sweden can proudly look back upon three straight silver medals. What has certainly left a very bitter taste in the program’s mouth is the fact that all three have been pushed upon them in the gold medal game by Team USA, who has accordingly won three straight gold medals. It isn’t enough that several of the current team’s players not only experienced last spring’s 7-0 thrashing at the hands of Team USA, but several others also found themselves subjected to the 3-1 gold medal game loss to the US at the WJC this past winter.
Surpassed by opponents and passed over by scouts, Viktor Arvidsson is a frequent silver medalist without an NHL affiliation. The latter figures to be changing this summer, though, after his impressive performance for Sweden at the recently-concluded World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
The first thing that most people notice about Ryan MacInnis is his size. Even just having turned 17 years old a couple of weeks ago, MacInnis already stands 6’3” and weighs 174 pounds. His size is imposing, even on a U.S. National Team Development Program team that is peppered with big bodies.
Coming into the 2013 World Junior Championship as the reigning gold medal champions, Sweden knew right from the beginning that a repeat performance would be no easy task. Not only could a number one goalie not be determined before the tournament began, but not a team in the tournament came in missing what was possibly its four most recognizable and important U-20 pieces, a situation Sweden had to deal with right off the bat.