The Group A preliminary round matchup that most were expecting would carry great weight will indeed come to pass as Sweden and Russia will faceoff on New Year’s Eve for bragging rights in this grouping. Sweden cemented their position with a 9-1 win over Slovakia, with one of the team’s stars being forward Mika Zibanejad. Zibanejad, a Ottawa Senators prospect, turned in his best performance of the WJC so far and, like the rest of the Swedish squad, seems to be round his game into shape at the right time.
Zibanejad took some questions from the media following the win over Slovakia.
Swedish forward Johan Sundstrom has been given a good deal of responsibility by the team’s coaching staff, and it appears some of that faith in Sundstrom is paying dividends. The New York Islanders prospect is centering Sweden‘s top unit at the 2012 WJC, and has also been named an alternate captain. Sundstrom picked up three points in the team’s 9-1 win over Slovakia, a sign that his game is peaking at the right time as Sweden heads into its New Year’s Eve showdown against Russia.
Sundstrom spoke with HF following the win over Slovakia.
Sweden is a favorite to take home a medal at the 2012 World Junior Championship, possibly the gold medal. But Switzerland had other ideas in their preliminary round game against the Swedes, extending the favored team to a shootout before falling, 4-3. A talented Swedish squad was able to overcome the hard-working effort of the Swiss team, but they’ll have to exhibit a more disciplined approach to make their dreams of gold come true.
Sweden‘s head coach Roger Ronnberg met with the media following his team’s win over the Swiss.
Forward Ludvig Rensfeldt was the first Swede chosen at the 2010 NHL Draft. Since then, Rensfeldt has been somewhat off the radar as compared to other prospects chosen in that draft. Rensfeldt brought his talent to North America for the 2011-12 season, where he is playing for the Sarnia Sting of the OHL. He has played well for the Sting, and is now stepping up as a key performer for Sweden‘s 2012 World Junior Championship. After two WJC games, Rensfeldt is tied with Max Friberg for the team scoring lead at five points.
Rensfeldt spoke with the media following Sweden‘s 4-3 shootout win over Switzerland.
Swedish forward Filip Forsberg is considered to be among the top prospects available for the 2012 NHL Draft. Forsberg burnished his credentials a bit in Sweden‘s opening game, 8-4 win over Latvia as he was named the Player of the Game for Sweden. Forsberg wasn’t as much of a factor in his team’s second win at the 2012 WJC, a 4-3 shootout win over Switzerland, but he and fellow 2012 prospect Sebastien Collberg still were a threat playing together on the fourth line.
Forsberg talked about the win over the Swiss following the game.