International Ice Hockey Federation

Sweden rolls along, 5-1

Sweden rolls along, 5-1

Denmark can't duplicate heroics from yesterday

Published 27.12.2014 16:20 GMT-5 | Author Andrew Podnieks
Sweden rolls along, 5-1
TORONTO, CANADA - DECEMBER 27: Denmark's Georg Sorensen #39 makes the save on Sweden's William Nylander #21 during preliminary round action at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Playing only 18 hours after beating the Czech Republic, 5-2, Sweden stayed on top of Group B with an impressive 5-1 victory over Denmark.

The only time these teams played previously at the U20 was seven years ago, a 10-1 win by the Swedes.

Both teams have the day off tomorrow before resuming their tournament on Monday. The Swedes will play Russia while the Danes play the Czechs in the early game.

"We had a really good game yesterday," Nikolaj Ehlers said of rhe tough Danish loss to Russia, 3-2, in a shootout, "and we wanted to bounce back today, but we didn't play our best. I know the guys are really excited for the next game."

William “Maple Leafs” Nylander started and finished the opening period with a great scoring chance. Although he missed a clear breakaway in the game’s first minute, he atoned with 32.5 seconds remaining by making a nice toe drag move and ripping a shot over the glove of Georg Sorensen to make it 3-0.

And, as after his goal yesterday, the announcement of his score brought cries of, “Go, Leafs, Go!” from the Air Canada Centre crowd. "You try not to think about it, but it's pretty cool to hear all the same," the 2014 Leafs draft choice said.

The first two goals came midway through the period. On the first, Danish defenceman Anders Krogsgaard coughed up the puck deep in his own end and Lucas Wallmark ripped a shot over Sorensen’s glove (the same side that Russia scored its two regulation goals yesterday as well).

That goal came at 9:48, and less than two minutes later the Swedes stuck again. This time a nice series of passing plays that spread the Danes wide saw Anton Blidh finish with a shot from the back side of the play.

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"It was really important for us to get that first goal," William Lagesson said. "It helped us relax and put the pressure on them."

As with the second period yesterday when the Danes had several great chances but couldn’t finish, the top line of Nikolaj Ehlers-Oliver Bjorkstrand-Mads Eller could have had at least a couple of goals. Bjorkstrand fired wide on a partial breakaway and Ehlers danced impressively with the puck, drawing all three penalties to Sweden. But the Danish power play could not come up with a goal to make the game closer.

Ehlers, drafted 9th overall by Winnipeg this past June, was far and away the best Danish player on the ice, but he was held off the scoresheet today.

"If we had scored on one of those chances, it would have been a different game," Ehlers acknowledged. "But we didn't get the bounces today and we have to get ready for our next game."

Denmark’s coach Olaf Eller, father of Mads, gave Sorensen the rest of the day off and inserted Thomas Lillie. Lillie’s shutout lasted but 13 seconds before a defensive lapse allowed Jacob de la Rose to snap a quick shot past the goalie.

Just 48 seconds later, though, the Danes got on the board when Nick Olesen converted a breakaway with a nice backhand.

Content with their 4-1 lead, the Swedes played solid defence, scoring again at 17:26 with the extra man. Sebastian Aho’s point shot made its way through traffic and past Lillie to make it 5-1.


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