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Sweden Dominates Slovakia, Advances to Semis at the 2017 World Junior Championships

Sweden faced Slovakia on Jan 2 and Felix Sandström took the starting goaltender position again.

After a solid win over the Czechs, Sweden came in strong to solidify their lead in the tournament.

Less than a minute into the game, Miroslav Struska gave Sweden a power play opportunity. A tripping call resulted in Team Sweden captain Joel Eriksson-Ek scoring the first goal of the game.

Rasmus Asplund and Oliver Kylington both assisted on the first Eriksson-Ek goal.

Despite having 20 shots on goal the first period, it wasn’t until the period was almost over the Sweden got another point on the board.

Tim Söderlund, a forward for Skellefteå AIK in the SHL, scored his first point of the tournament. Söderlund’s goal was assisted by Andreas Wingerli, Söderlund’s SHL teammate, and Kristoffer Gunnarsson.

Thirty seconds later, Carl Grundström followed up with another goal, assisted by Alexander Nylander and Lucas Carlsson. Grundström’s goal brought Sweden’s lead to 3-0.

Sweden carried over the momentum they had in the first period, Alexander Nylander scored, bringing Sweden to a 4-0 lead. Nylander leads the tournament in points scored with a total of 11. Nylander’s goal was assisted by Jonathan Dahlen and Rasmus Asplund.

Nylander leads the tournament in points scored with a total of 11. Nylander’s goal was assisted by Jonathan Dahlen and Rasmus Asplund.

Fredrik Karlström, assisted by Filip Ahl and Asplund, tallied another one for Sweden.

Despite the 5-0 lead, the penalty by Eriksson-Ek brought a little change in pace and Slovakia responded with a power play goal scored by Martin Bodak, assisted by Marek Sloboda.

Shortly after his 10-minute major penalty ended, Miroslav Struska followed Bodak’s lead and brought Slovakia to 5-2. Struska’s goal was assisted by Erik Cernak to end the second period.

Slovakia started off the third with an unassisted goal, scored by Adam Ruzicka. Sweden answered back 30 seconds later with Söderlund’s second goal of the game, assisted by Gabriel Carlsson.

A penalty on Slovakia’s Martin Fehervary let Team Sweden grab another power play goal. Lias Andersson, assisted by Jacob Larsson and Jens Lööke, gave Sweden a 7-3 lead.

In the last few minutes of the game, Slovakia gave Sweden another power play opportunity that they capitalized on.

Eriksson-Ek got his second goal of the game. His goal was assisted by Asplund, who got four assists against Slovakia and Kylington.

Sandström finished the game with a 83.33 save percentage with 15 saves.

Sweden moved on to the semi-finals and will face Canada on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. EST.

Kayley Holloway

Kayley Holloway

Atlanta native studying PR at the University of Florida. Yes, I'm aware the Thrashers do not exist anymore. No, I'm still not over it. I am quite the fan of Sweden, their language and hockey team alike. I'm also that person who will chase down anyone with NHL paraphernalia... I just really like hockey.
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