SPECIAL TEAMS SUCCESS HELPS SWEDES TO WIN OVER BLACK
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – Sweden did not squander its chances when given a man advantage, using three power-play goals to beat Canada Black 4-1 in pre-tournament action ahead of the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
After trading chances and a few end-to-end rushes, Canada Black opened the scoring at the 6:50 mark of the first; Nolan Foote (Kelowna, B.C./Kelowna, WHL) snuck a shot behind Swedish goaltender Lucas Jägbring, stuffing it in from behind the net. Jack McBain (Toronto, Ont./Toronto Jr. Canadiens, OJHL) and Eli Zummack (Kelowna, B.C./Okanagan, BCMML) assisted on the play while crashing the net, giving Foote room to work.
But from there, it was all Sweden. The Canadians took three penalties in the first period and another six in the second, but it was a penalty carried over from the first that was the start of the Swedish scoring.
With Foote off for holding, Samuel Fagemo fired a point shot past Canadian netminder Jacob Ingham (Barrie, Ont./Mississauga, OHL). Seven minutes later, Adam Bokvist beat Ingham with a wrister.
Both teams would switch netminders midway through the middle frame – Hunter Jones (Brantford, Ont./Stouffville, OJHL) and Olof Lindbom replaced Ingham and Jägbring – but that didn’t stop the Canadian parade to the penalty box or the Swedes’ ability to score on the power play. Linus Nässén capitalized on a 5-on-3, making it a 3-1 game.
Those were the final two penalties of the night for Canada Black and momentum in the third period swung back toward the Canadians. Lindbom was able to prevent a comeback, though, making several key saves on a two-man advantage.
Oskar Bäck added an empty-net goal the Swedes with just 10 seconds left in the game, for a 4-1 final.
Sweden will open preliminary-round play on Sunday against Russia at the John Rhodes Community Centre (6 p.m. ET), while Canada Black kicks things off at the Essar Centre against Canada White (4 p.m. ET).