Sweden opened up its two-game Euro Hockey Challenge series against Norway in an absolutely dominant fashion, crushing the hosts 5-0 to retain the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
Despite outshooting the Isbjørnene 10-4 in the first frame, the score remained 0-0 after twenty minutes, largely thanks to the solid goaltending of Lars Haugen in net for Norway. However, it was a pair of quick goals midway through the second, from both P.J. Axelsson and Nicklas Danielsson, that put the Tre Kronor quickly up 2-0 leading towards the end of the second period.
It was the third where the offense truly came alive, providing a trio of goals over a ten minute span to lock up the game – a pair from Robin Figren six minutes apart, and the final nail in the coffin, a power play goal from Mattias Karlsson with just over six minutes to go. Sweden locked up the 5-0 victory, giving goalie Erik Ersberg the easy shutout, stopping 16 shots in the victory.
With the win, Sweden retains the International Hockey Lineal Championship it captured from Russia at February’s Oddset Hockey Games, defeating Finland in the tournament finale before the Norway series. This game marks the first meeting over the IHLC between Sweden and Norway in almost exactly six years, with the last meeting being an exhibition game in Oslo on Apr. 6, 2006, won 5-1 by Sweden. These two teams meet again tomorrow for the second leg of the series, of course with the IHLC back on the line.
05:27 – PEN – Persson, holding
12:00 – PEN – Bäckman, roughing
17:36 – PEN – Djupvik Løvlie, hooking
27:49 – PEN – Olausson, tripping
34:57 – GOAL – Axelsson (Persson)
37:38 – GOAL – Danielsson (Persson, Fernholm)
43:15 – GOAL – Figren (Enterfeldt)
49:57 – GOAL – Figren (Enterfeldt, Bäckman)
52:18 – PEN – Kristiansen, slashing
53:37 – PP GOAL – Karlsson (Pettersson, Lundqvist)
56:10 – PEN – Forsberg, hooking
W: Ersberg (16-16)
L: Haugen (24-29)
SHOTS ON GOAL
10+8+11 = 29
4+7+5 = 16
Goaltenders: Erik Ersberg, Anton Forsberg. Defence: Jonas Ahnelöv, Mattias Bäckman, Klas Dahlbeck, Daniel Fernholm, Daniel Gunnarsson, Mattias Karlsson, Staffan Kronwall (C), Henrik Tömmernes. Forwards: Dick Axelsson, Niclas Bergfors, Nicklas Danielsson, Sebastian Enterfeldt, Jesper Fasth, Robin Figren, Johan Harju, Simon Hjalmarsson, Joel Lundqvist (A), Niklas Olausson, Niklas Persson (A), Fredrik Pettersson.
Goaltenders: Pål Grotnes, Lars Haugen. Defence: Jonas Holøs, Fredrik Jacobsen-Lystad, Alexander Rindal (A), Daniel Sørvik, Andreas Stene, William Strøm, Ole Kristian Tollefsen (C), Lars Løkken Østli. Forwards: Morten Ask, Robin Dahlstrøm, Jonas Djupvik Løvlie, Kristian Forsberg, Martin Blakseth Huse, Tommy Kristiansen, Andreas Martinsen, Mathis Olimb (A), Jonas Oppøyen, Mats Rosseli Olsen, Nicklas Roest, Per-Åge Skrøder.