Swedes tackle Russians in pre-World Junior contest

Swedes tackle Russians in pre-World Junior contest

Steven Ellis19 Dec 2018Steven Ellis»

Sweden has started their road to the World Junior Hockey Championships on the right foot after beating Russia 4-2 on Tuesday evening in Kelowna, British Columbia.


Sweden has started their road to the World Junior Hockey Championships on the right foot after beating Russia 4-2 on Tuesday evening in Kelowna, British Columbia.

Despite the loss, the Russians were the better team out of the gate. On an early power play chance, Alexander Romanov would do a good job of taking the puck near the blueline before making his way towards the left faceoff circle. He'd then send a nice wrist shot in the back of the net, giving the Russians the 1-0 lead.

But shortly after, Sweden answered back. Vegas Golden Knights prospect Erik Brannstrom would blow past two Russian players after pinching in on the play and sent a hard, quick wrist shot by Petr Kochetkov, just getting the shot away in time after a Russian defender tried to stop a 2-on-1 pass that didn't materialize.

The two teams then took turn trading goals in the second period. After he caught two Russians out of place, Samuel Fagemo one-timed a feed from Lucas Elvenes in the slot, giving Sweden their first lead of the game. The Russians quickly answered back on the next play, with Vitali Kravtsov and Grigori Denisenko playing a little give-and-go before Kravtsov put the puck in from the slot. 

The Swedes took over in the third. Just 1:09 into the third, Emil Bemstrom would score in close on the quick pass after receiving the disk from behind the net, scoring after nobody put up a fight in front. Johan Södergran would then tip in a shot from David Gustafsson a few minutes later, giving Sweden the biggest advantage of the game, and the win in the process.

Both teams will have a couple days off, with the Russians getting back into action against the United States on Thursday at 7:00 PM PST in Kamloops. The Swedes will challenge Denmark on Saturday evening, a 6:00 PM PST start in Chilliwack.

In other pre-tournament action, Denmark failed to capitalize on dominant puck possession from the first 40 minutes and would lose 4-0 to the University of British Columbia, with Albert Adamsen allowing three goals in a 2:33 span late in the game.

Follow me on Twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

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