Sweden beat Switzerland 4-2 for its second straight Bell Centre win on Wednesday. Captain Joel Eriksson Ek scored twice, including the third-period winner.
Eriksson Ek accepted Carl Grundstrom’s lovely backhanded feed from behind the net and zipped the puck through Swiss goalie Joren van Pottelberghe with 5:08 remaining.
“I’m playing with good players,” said Eriksson Ek.”They set me up and I just try to shoot. Today I was lucky and two went in.”
Lias Andersson and Lucas Carlsson also scored for Sweden, and Grundstrom and Alexander Nylander had two assists apiece. Jonas Siegenthaler notched a goal and an assist for Switzerland, and Calvin Thurkauf had the other goal.
Van Pottelberghe did his best to keep his team’s hopes alive as Sweden outshot Switzerland 46-15. In Switzerland’s opening 4-3 overtime win versus the Czechs, he faced 39 shots.
“It’s a great booster when we know we have a guy in the back that can make saves when we need them,” said Thurkauf. “Joren has been astonishing over the last two games. We hope we can count on that for the rest of the tournament.”
The Swedes, who sit first in Group A, face winless Nordic rival Finland on Thursday. Switzerland battles Denmark in a crucial matchup on Friday.
Last year, the Finns edged Sweden 2-1 in the semi-finals en route to gold in Helsinki. So there’s a grudge match coming up.
“I think it’s going to be a good battle,” said Nylander. “They’ve lost two, so they’ll be coming at us hard. But we are mad from last year, so we’ll be on top of our game too, I think.”