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Sweden beats Swiss, 7-2

Turnovers and pretty goals dominate

Published 30.12.2017 17:26 GMT-5 | Author Andrew Podnieks
Sweden beats Swiss, 7-2
BUFFALO, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 30: Team Sweden celebrates a first period goal by Lias Andersson #24 against Switzerland during the preliminary round of the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Photo by Andrea Cardin/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Sweden scored four unanswered goals in the third period to break open a close game, sending the team to its third straight win in Buffalo.

The win gives Sweden a 3-0 record and first place in Group B. With the loss, the Swiss are 1-2 and stuck in fourth place, but that's as low as they can go. Belarus, winless in all four games, will be the Group B representative in the relegation round, and the Swiss will qualify for the quarter-finals.

Perhaps the nicest goal was the last of the game. Elias Pettersson danced around defenceman Simon le Coultre, cut in on goal, and swept the puck in the far side to make it a 7-2 game.

Pettersson and Lias Andersson both had two goals and an assist for the winners, who outshot the Swiss, 42-22.

"Switzerland started pretty fast today, but we got better as the game went on," said Alexander Nylander, who played on a line with Pettersson and Linus Lindstrom. "Our third period was really strong. We showed how we can play when we're playing well. They were forechecking hard in the first two periods, and we had to just simplify our game, which we did."

"We played very well," echoed defenceman Rasmus Dahlin. "We were strong out there, but we also played well against the Czechs. Those were different games, but we are playing well right now."

The Swedes got one power-play goal and another short-handed. They opened the scoring in the first with the extra man. Nylander made a perfect slap-pass to Andersson cutting in front, and Andersson made a nice deflection past Mattheo Ritz.

Switzerland tied the game on a brilliant little play from Nicolas Muller. He noticed that Swedish defenceman Linus Hogberg cut dangerously close to his goalie heading up ice and slapped Hogberg’s stick. In the process, the puck went into the net past an unsuspecting Filip Larsson.

In the second, however, Sweden controlled play and scored two pretty goals. Andersson picked off a weak pass from Tobias Geisser inside the Swiss blue line and waltzed in on goal, beating Matteo Ritz with a pretty little deke at 6:07.

Six and a half minutes later, another turnover presented itself to Sweden. This time, Valentin Nussbaumer was too casual with the puck inside the Sweden blue line on a power play. Axel Jonsson Fjallby made the steal and sprinted the length of the ice before roofing a shot over Ritz’s glove for a 3-1 lead.

The Swiss weren’t entirely done, though. This time it was Jacob Moverare of Sweden who was stripped of the puck in his end on a Swiss power play. Marco Miranda made the quick play, moved in on Larsson, and rifled a high shot in with just 45.4 seconds left in the period to give the Swiss some life heading to the dressing room.

That was as close as they got, though. Sweden made it 4-2 early in the third off another turnover inside the opposition blue line. This time a nice three-way passing play led to the goal when Nylander moved the puck to Pettersson. Pettersson made a final pass in front, but Swiss defenceman Tim Berni got his stick on the puck and tipped it over Ritz's glove at 4:55. An own goal at the worst time.

Tim Soderlund added another at 10:01 flying down his off wing and cutting in front before roofing a shot, and Fabian Zetterlund made it 6-2 less than two minutes later.

Sweden finishes the round robin with a New Year's Eve game against Russia in what should be a thrilling game. "It will be fun," Dahlin added, "and it will help us get ready for the playoffs."

Switzerland comes right back tomorrow afternoon to play the Czechs, 6-5 winners today against Belarus.