SWEDEN WINS SCANDINAVIAN SEE-SAW BATTLE TO FINISH PRELIMS
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – Samuel Fagemo scored one goal and set up two more, leading Sweden to its first win of the preliminary round at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, a 4-2 decision over Finland on Tuesday night.
The victory means Sweden will finish third in Group B, with Finland right behind in fourth place. They’ll know their quarter-final opponents when the preliminary-round finale between Canada Black and the United States concludes later Tuesday.
The Swedes opened the scoring just 3:02 into the first period; David Gustafsson picked up a rebound and slid it into an open goal behind netminder Justus Annunen.
But Finland did not back down, keeping pace with the Swedes and answering back in the final minute of the opening frame when Miska Kukkonen registered his first goal of the tournament.
In the second, the see-saw battled continued with Sweden once again taking the lead. Oskar Bäck saw Marcus Westfält sitting wide open at the side of the net and fed him a perfect pass for the easy tap-in and a 2-1 advantage.
The Finns, though, quickly responded. Less than two minutes later, Karri Kapanen threw a rolling puck towards the net, and the one-timer fooled Olaf Lindbom just below the cross-bar to tie the game 2-2.
This time Sweden would not wait until the next period to retake the lead. Bäck once again manufactured the play for the Swedes, centering for Jonatan Berggren, who was just able to deflect it past Annunen.
Fagemo added much-needed insurance near the midway point of the third period, setting up in front of Annunen and deflecting a point shot from Tobias Åkerman past Annunen to give the Swedes the extra cushion they needed.
The Finns outshot Sweden 19-12 in a busy third period, but the Swedes had a 35-33 advantage overall.