In what was a high scoring, physical affair, Sweden took their first game of the 2016 World Junior Championships with an 8-3 victory over the Swiss.
Tino Kessler of Switzerland got an early breakaway, but Sweden goalie Linus Soderstrom denied him. A few seconds later, the Swedes opened the scoring with William Nylander banging it home after a mild scramble in front of the Swiss net. The hole got bigger for Switzerland as Fabian Heldner received a contacting the head penalty when his helmet struck Joel Eriksson Ek’s head and gave Sweden a five minute powerplay. While the Swiss do kill the whole 5 minute powerplay, they gave up a goal right after the penalty expired as Oskar Lindblom scored to make it a 2-0 lead. Swiss do get a 4 minute minor but the Swedes killed that off. Late in the first period, the Swiss would put themselves in another hole after Chris Egli blindsided William Nylander with a nasty headshot and rightfully received a game misconduct and gave the Swedes another long powerplay. It was somewhat negated by a Marcus Pettersson interference penalty. During that 4-on-4, Tino Kessler scored a nice little hand eye goal to cut the Sweden lead in half. Late in the first, Dmytro Timashov scored to make it 3-1 and restore the two goal lead for Sweden. Period would end shortly after but not without some pushing and shoving from the Swiss which led to a few penalties for the Swiss. Swedes outshot the Swiss in the first period, 10-5.
With the scrum at the end of the first period leading to a powerplay for Sweden, it was Timashov who capitalized again to make it a 4-1 Sweden lead. Not too long after that, Rasmus Asplund ripped a wrist shot by Gauthier Descloux and made it 5-1 for the Swedes. Swiss tried to put up somewhat of a fight on the scoreboard instead of physically this time with Noah Rod tipping Edson Harlacher’s shot past Linus Soderstrom, 5-2. Swiss quickly give up on this method and return to the reckless physical play with a nasty hit from behind on Adrian Kempe, but no call and Kempe had to leave the game. Sweden decided to keep playing actual hockey with Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson scoring and made it 6-2. This goal chased Swiss starter Gauthier Descloux and gave way to Joren van Pottelberghe. It was a rather uneventful rest of the second period as Sweden took a 6-2 lead headed to the third. Sweden outshot the Swiss again, 13-5.
Early in the period, with a delayed penalty coming to Switzerland, Jacob Larsson’s point shot is deflected by William Lagesson in front and made it 7-2. The Swiss would get a chance on the power play on an Andreas Englund tripping penalty. It worked out better for Switzerland, however, as Tino Kessler scored on his second breakaway and made it 7-3. Sweden would get another power play late in the third after a Denis Malgin hooking penalty. Malgin and William Lagesson also got into a little wrestling match which ended with Malgin giving Lagesson a shot to the mouth after Lagesson taunted him a little bit. No call for punch, so Malgin got a free shot at Lagesson. Switzerland would kill the power play but not long after, Sweden scored again. Adam Ollas Mattsson’s pass deflects off of Kessler’s stick and past van Pottelberghe. Sweden would get another power play a bit later as Damien Riat slashed a Swedish player, but they take Noah Rod off by mistake. Swede’s won’t score on the man advantage but win the game anyway 8-3. 16-8 were the shots in the third in favor of Sweden.
It was an incredibly physical game on the Swiss side as they took out two of Sweden’s best forwards with pretty nasty hits. Chris Egli should probably see some discipline for his hit on Nylander. As for Sweden, they won a game they were expected to and it serves as a good confidence boost going forward as they still have to play America and Canada. Hopefully for them, Adrian Kempe, William Nylander, and defenseman Gustav Forsling will be available for those games. Tino Kessler and Dmytro Timashov were players of the game.
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