Swedes trounce Swiss for world junior bronze
After Sunday's disappointing semifinal loss to the U.S. at the world junior hockey championship, the Swedes wanted to finish the tournament on a positive note.
On Tuesday, they did just that.
Andre Petersson had a hat trick and Jakob Silfverberg and Daniel Brodin each added two goals as Sweden used a big first period to pound Switzerland 11-4 in the tournament's bronze-medal game in Saskatoon.
"We didn't play that well against the U.S.," said Swedish coach Par Marts, whose team lost in last year's final to Canada. "We showed we can play good hockey, so I'm pleased.
"It's a medal. Sometimes you have to take that, but for sure I wanted the gold medal."
Dennis Rasmussen, Anton Lander, Mattias Tedenby and David Rundblad also scored for Sweden, which lost 5-2 to the Americans in the semis.
Michael Loichat, Dominik Schlumpf, Jeffrey Fuglister and Nino Niederreiter replied for the Swiss, who were coming off a 6-1 semifinal loss to Canada.
"We came here to win the gold medal," said Swedish netminder Jacob Markstrom. "The U.S., we knew they had a really good team and we couldn't beat them. It was a really tough loss for all of us.
"I got the silver last year and I really wanted to upgrade that to a gold medal."
The Swedes encountered little resistance in the first period and Rasmussen opened the scoring on a rebound near the four-minute mark.
Clock strikes midnight
The Swedes added four more goals within eight minutes to crush Swiss hopes of their first medal at the tournament since 1998.
Lander scored off his own rebound at 11:44 and Petersson surprised Switzerland goalkeeper Benjamin Conz with a shot from a sharp angle on the power play that made it 3-0. Four minutes later, Petersson beat Conz through the pads, before Tedenby made it 5-0 at 19:04.
The Swedes continued the onslaught at 3:17 of the second when Conz was beaten by Silfverberg. Brodin made it 7-0 just 39 seconds later.
Loichat scored the first Swiss goal at 6:30 of the period with a shot from the blue-line that beat Markstrom, but Silfverberg and Brodin each scored their second of the game on the power play to make it 9-1.
The Swiss replied with three goals in three minutes. Schlumpf scored on a man-advantage, Fuglister beat Markstrom at even strength and Niederreiter found the net on a 5-on-3 power play.
But Petersson put any thoughts of a comeback to rest by completing his hat trick with a short-handed goal at 18:40.
Rundblad had the only goal in the third as the Swedes cruised the rest of the way in front of 12,121 fans.
Sweden outshot the Swiss 50-20.
"It feels pretty good, but that semifinal hurt us," said Sweden's Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, an Edmonton Oilers prospect. "We expected gold, but we got bronze. We won the last game and we're just going to have to take that."
Switzerland was the preferred country at the Credit Union Centre as the Swiss received louder ovations for their goals than the Swedes.
Swiss forward Jeffrey Fuglister was booed every time he touched the puck, however, because he checked Canadian defenceman Travis Hamonic into the boards late in the semifinal. Hamonic suffered a shoulder injury that took him out of the gold-medal game.
Mars said the tournament again showed that Sweden is close but not close enough.
"We've still got a step to take to win the gold medal," he said. "We saw that two days ago. We played well, but not well enough."