LINDBOM STARS AS SWEDES BEAT RED TO STAY PERFECT
JASON LA ROSE
SWIFT CURRENT, Sask. – Carl Lindbom turned in a 50-save performance and Oliver Moberg broke open a tie game with 2:30 to go, sending Sweden past Canada Red 4-2 on Monday night at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
The win keeps the Swedes atop Group B with two wins in as many games.
Lindbom was spectacular from the first drop of the puck; he made 16 saves in the first period, 18 in the second and 16 more in the third and helped keep the Canadians goalless on six power-play opportunities.
The Swedes could only convert on two of their nine chances with the man advantage, but Moberg made one of those count, crashing the net to stuff in the rebound of a Fabian Lysell shot with time ticking away and overtime looming.
Goaltending was the story of the first period; Lindbom and Canadian counterpart Jacob Goobie (Upper Tantallon, N.S./Charlottetown, QMJHL) were perfect in the opening 20 minutes, combining for 27 saves.
The stalemate continued past the midway point of the second period before a pair of quick-strike Swedish goals got the offence started.
Victor Stjernberg got the first on the power play, finishing a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play, and Lysell beat out an icing before setting up Oskar Larsson only 47 seconds after that for a 2-0 lead.
Red got even in the final minute of the middle frame with a pair of quick-succession goals of its own.
Connor Lockhart (Kanata, Ont./Erie, OHL) finally beat Lindbom with 40.5 seconds to go, getting a piece of a shot from Connor Punnett (Powassan, Ont./Saginaw, OHL), and Joshua Roy (Saint-Georges, Que./Saint John, QMJHL) cleaned up a Zachary Bolduc (Bécancour, Que./Rimouski, QMJHL) rebound in the crease with 26.7 seconds left to send the game to the intermission tied.
It looked like that score would stand up through the third period, especially with both goaltenders once again stealing the show – Red outshot Sweden 16-15 in the final stanza – but Moberg provided the game-winner before Ludwig Persson found the empty net in the final minute.
Goobie was a hard-luck loser in the Canadian goal, finishing with 30 stops.
Sweden will try for its first perfect preliminary round since 2013 when it takes on Russia on Tuesday afternoon (3 p.m. MT), while Canada Red closes its round-robin schedule against Finland (7 p.m. MT).