As Sweden prepares to defend its gold medal in the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships, the national junior team kicked off the tournament with a win over the Czech Republic on Wednesday morning.
Montreal Canadiens prospect Sebastian Collberg opened the scoring for Sweden on a two-man advantage just over two minutes into the game, thanks to penalties to David Musil and Lukas Sedlak.
Musil, an Edmonton Oilers 2011 selection who currently plays with the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings, ended up serving four minor penalties throughout the game, including two slashing calls.
Less than a minute and a half later, Elias Lindholm scored – once again on the power play – to up the lead to two goals, and after more penalties from both sides, the first period ended with Sweden up by a pair.
The Swedish team took its first of two too many men penalties just 30 seconds into the second frame, and Rickard Rakell was served a hooking penalty shortly after that. With Rakell still in the box, Filip Sandberg scored his first goal of the tournament to make it 3-0 Sweden.
More penalties followed, but with no scoring action on either side until the third period.
Filip Forsberg made it 4-0 just over 12 minutes into the third period, with the assists from Emil Djuse and Rakell.
The Czech team finally got on the board with less than ten seconds left, in the form of a goal from Sedlak, making it 4-1.
Nine players had at least a point each for Sweden, with Mikael Wikstrand leading the way with a pair of assists. The Swedish win came despite missing some of the team’s top players, including Hampus Lindholm, who was recently diagnosed with a concussion and ruled out of the team’s initial game.
Goaltender Joel Lassinantti had 25 saves in the win, while Czech netminder Matej Machovsky stopped 37 of 41 shots faced.
Sweden returns to action on December 28 versus Switzerland, while Czech continues its 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships on the same day with a game versus Finland.