It is very special to win after 14 years, says Staffan Kronwall

It is very special to win after 14 years, says Staffan Kronwall

19 Dec 2011 | David Schlegel talked to Staffan Kronwall after Sweden's win in Channel One Cup.

Sweden composed many great teams for Euro Hockey Tour`s tournament in past years. However, Moscow was a place, where Russians or Czechs usually dominated. Izvestija cup or Channel One Cup was a nightmare for Swedes the same way, like Karjala cup is for the Czechs. This year, Sweden finally broke it. "The last time, we won this tournament, was 14 years ago, so it is obviously something special for whole Sweden. Unfortunately, we could not beat Finland tonight, but we take our victory at the tournament with us," said defenceman Staffan Kronwall, who became the best scorer of the whole tournament.

Kronwall showed a remarkable performance on Saturday, when he scored three goals against Russia. "It was very special for me to score hat-trick against Russia in Russia. I dont think I have ever done it before. Russians have a very good team. We were very fortunate to play against them our best game on the tournament," said 29-year old Swede.

Sweden also heavily outplayed the Czechs in Chomutov, despite only 2-1 win. They overcame a goal after five seconds of play in that game. Tre Kronor secured tournament victory already after two games. Then they met Finland and lost. "I do not think we underestimated them. It was a new game from 0-0 at the start."

Finland had only one World champion from Bratislava 2011 on the team - goalie Lassila. He was a key player for Team Suomi though. Most of the young and unexperienced team Finland play in SM-Liiga and only three players participated in Karjala Tournament, where Finland played very good hockey. 

Team Finland, which always kept losing to Sweden, now beat their opponents for the 2nd time this year. "Today we did not play well. It was definitely our weekest performance here. We lacked energy and drive. However, we still beat Finns this year at least once. We lost at the World Championship, where it was the final game. It could go either way," said Kronwall.

Swedes were twice one goal ahead, but allowed Finns to tie the game and had no answer when Finland took a 4-2 lead. "Our biggest problem was our power play. Our power play did not come up to normal standard. They simply did not work, we were a bit slappy and lazy," added Staffan Kronwall, who was selected the best defenceman of the tournament.
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