SHOOTOUT NEEDED AS SWEDEN BEATS QUEBEC
by David Brien
NORTH SYDNEY, N.S. – Regulation time was not enough to determine the winner between Quebec and Sweden on Tuesday night at the Emera Centre Northside; it took a shootout before the Swedes secured a 3-2 victory to remain unbeaten at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Einar Emanuelsson and Jonathan Léman scored goals in the shootout for Sweden, while Alex Dostie (Drummondville, Que./Gatineau, LHJMQ) was the lone shooter to convert for Quebec.
Both goaltenders were strong, with Quebec’s Olivier Tremblay (Saguenay, Que./Jonquière, LHMAAAQ) and Sweden’s Felix Sandström combining to stop 90 of the 94 shots they faced through regulation and overtime.
Quebec outshot Sweden 51-43 overall.
The Swedes got off to a quick start, as Joel Ek Eriksson scored on the game’s first shot just 59 seconds after the puck had dropped.
Quebec answered past the 13-minute mark with a power-play tally off the stick of Anthony Beauvillier (Sorel, Que./Shawinigan, LHJMQ) who snapped a shot just inside the short-side post, with assists going to Nicolas Roy (Amos, Que./Chicoutimi, LHJMQ) and Jéremy Roy (Richelieu, Que./Sherbrooke, LHJMQ).
The Swedes again took the lead 6:25 into the second period thanks to Oliver Erixon, but Nicolas Roy answered just over three minutes later, blocking a point shot from before converting a breakaway opportunity, going forehand to backhand before beating Sandström through the five-hole.
Blocked shots were key for Quebec, with defencemen Guillaume Brisebois (St-Hilaire, Que./Acadie-Bathurst, LHJMQ) and Simon Bourque (Longueuil, Que./Rimouski, LHJMQ) leading the charge and helping Quebec earn a single point.
Quebec captain Jérémy Roy also sacrificed his body, blocking two shots while shorthanded in overtime, one as he slid towards a Swedish point shot and the other stopping a slap shot with the open palm of his glove.
After Emanuelsson and Dostie traded goals in round one of the shootout, and both teams missed in round two, Léman went high with a backhand to beat Tremblay, and Sandström stopped Nicolas Roy to clinch the win.
Quebec will enjoy a New Year’s Day away from the rink before wrapping up its preliminary round Thursday afternoon (2 p.m. AT) against West in North Sydney, while the Swedes try to remain unbeaten Wednesday afternoon (2 p.m. AT) when it faces West at the Emera Centre Northside.