Team Sweden ran the table in Group A at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, winning all four of their preliminary round games to finish as the top seed for the playoff round. The Swedes completed their sweep on New Year’s Eve with a 5-2 win over Canada, the second loss suffered by the defending champions at this tournament.
Sweden jumped out to a 2-0, first period lead on Canada on goals by team scoring leader Alexander Nylander (2016) and Gustav Forsling (CHI), but Canada answered back on a goal by Mitchell Stephens (TBL) to send the teams to the locker room with Sweden up, 2-1. The Swedes added to their lead in the second with a power play goal off the stick of Adrian Kempe (LAK) to make it 3-1, then Anton Karlsson (ARI) made it 4-1 in the third period. Canada gained some life with a power play goal by Mitch Marner (TOR) with a little over five minutes left, but Rasmus Asplund (2016) closed the scoring with an empty net marker to seal the 5-2 victory.
Karlsson has been more of a physical presence than an offensive threat for Sweden at this tournament, but he did contribute to the win over Canada. Defenseman Marcus Pettersson (ANA) didn’t contribute any points in the win over Canada, but he had three assists in four preliminary round games while also providing some physical play on the back end.
Both Karlsson and Pettersson spoke with Hockey’s Future after the win over Canada, with their comments being included in this HF video.
Highlights from the Sweden-Canada matchup can be viewed below.
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