TIMMINS, Ont. – After coming within 40 seconds of advancing to the gold medal game, Sweden was determined not to leave the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge without a medal.
Joachim Nermark and Johan Porsberger each had a goal and an assist and Victor Rask chipped in with two helpers as the Swedes earned the bronze medal with a resounding 5-2 win over Russia in the third-place game Monday afternoon at McIntyre Arena.
Pontus Åberg, Jeremy Boyce and Emil Lundberg also made the scoresheet for the Swedes, who outshot the Russians 46-19, including 34-10 in the opening 40 minutes. Marcus Due-Boje made 17 saves to record his first win of the tournament as the Swedes medaled in their first U17 appearance since 1997.
Sweden was less than a minute away from the gold medal game in its semifinal against the United States on Sunday night, erasing a 4-0 U.S. lead to take a 5-4 advantage late in the third period before the Americans tied the game late and eventually won it in overtime.
But there was no letdown on Monday for the Swedes, who led 2-0 after 20 minutes – outshooting Russia 17-4 – and 4-0 after two periods. Lundberg made it 5-0 in the third before Mikhail Grigorenko and Alexander Khokhlachev ruined Due-Boje’s shutout bid with late goals.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)