DRUMMONDVILLE, Que. – William Nylander Altelius and Oskar Lindblom had a goal and two assists each as Sweden remained unbeaten and extended its lead atop Group A at the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge with a 7-3 win over Finland on Sunday afternoon.
The game marked just the second meeting between the Scandinavian neighbours at the tournament; the Swedes won the first as well, 6-4 at the 2010 event in Timmins, Ont.
Adrian Kempe scored a hat trick for the Swedes, including two into empty nets in the dying minutes as the Finns tried to take advantage of late power plays to get back into the game. Pierre Engvall and Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson had the other goals for Sweden.
Mikko Rantanen scored twice and Teemu Lämsä added one for the Finns, who made their return to the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge after missing last year’s tournament in Windsor, Ont. Instead, Finland won the silver medal at the inaugural World Sport School Challenge in Calgary, Alta.
Rantanen was in on all three Finnish goals, picking up an assist on Lämsä’s marker late in the first period.
After Rantanen opened the scoring just 70 seconds in, the Swedes scored three times in just over seven minutes to take a lead they would not relinquish. Rantanen’s shorthanded goal early in the third period pulled the Finns to within one at 4-3, but that would be as close as they would get.
Felix Sandström and Kaapo Kähkönen went the distance in goal for the Swedes and Finns, respectively. Sandström picked up win after a 27-save performance, while Kähkönen took the loss despite 32 stops.
Both teams are back on the ice at the Centre Marcel-Dionne on Monday to close out 2012 – Sweden goes for a 3-0 start against Pacific in the matinee (1:30 p.m. ET), before Finland meets West in the evening contest (7:30 p.m. ET).
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)