Lambton Shores, Ont.
NYLANDER HAS THREE POINTS, SWEDEN GETS FIRST UNDER-17 WIN
LAMBTON SHORES, Ont. – Alexander Nylander scored once and added two assists to lead the offence, and Sweden earned its first win at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, blanking Slovakia 7-0 on Tuesday afternoon.
The victory means the Swedes finish third in Group B with a 1-0-0-3 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record, while the Slovaks were winless in three round-robin games and finish fourth.
Both teams will travel to the RBC Centre in Sarnia, Ont., for Thursday quarter-finals.
Filip Gustavsson made 21 saves for the shutout for Sweden, which got two goals from William Fällström and one each from Alexander Andersson, Pontus Karlsson, Tim Wahlgren and Linus Weissbach.
Oliver Horsell and Linus Högberg added two assists each in the win.
Weissbach got Sweden on the board first just past the midway mark of the opening period, circling the net before beating Slovak netminder Jan Koziak low to the blocker side with a slap shot.
Fällström took a drop pass from Nylander and lodged a backhand over Koziak’s right shoulder to make it 2-0 at 14:41, and Wahlgren went five-hole on a breakaway 2:10 later for a 3-0 Swedish lead after 20 minutes.
The offensive onslaught continued for the Swedes early in the second; Nylander fed Fällström for an easy tap-in goal just 1:40 into the period, and Nylander’s wrist shot rocket made it 5-0 at 4:34 and spelled the end of the night for Koziak, who allowed five goals on 16 shots.
David Hrenak fared no better in the Slovak goal, allowing the 6-0 goal less than two minutes after entering the game; Marcus Davidsson chipped a pass off the boards to Andersson, who got a low wrist shot through traffic and past Hrenak.
Karlsson converted the Swedish touchdown at 11:25 of the second period, tapping in a rebound after Hrenak failed to corral a point shot from Jacob Moverare.
A scoreless third period included the game’s only two penalties, both to Sweden.
Both teams will wait for the results of Tuesday night’s preliminary round finales to find out who and when they play in the quarter-finals on Thursday.