Sweden swept their second consecutive Euro Hockey Challenge series, dispatching Belarus in a shootout for the second straight night to retain the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
Both teams kept a relatively defensive performance going in the first, effectively killing off multiple power plays behind solid goaltending from Sweden’s Christopher Nihlstorp and Belarus’ Andrei Mezin. The scoring opened early in the second on a Fredrik Pettersson strike, countered ten minutes later on a Alexander Kitarov goal to even things at 1-1 after two. The third continued the torrent of penalties, but still no goals, sending the game to overtime.
The extra period did not break the tie, so Tre Kronor and the Bisons went to a second straight night of shootout hockey – however, unlike the previous night, where all but one shooter scored, this shootout was all but one goal, with Nihlstorp and Mezin solid in net. However, it was Sweden’s final shooter, Niklas Olausson, that solved Mezin and won the game 2-1 for Sweden in the penalty shootout.
With the win, their sixth consecutive victory, Sweden retains their 69th International Hockey Lineal Championship title, which they won from Russia at February’s Oddset Hockey Games, and have defended successfully against Finland, Norway twice, and Belarus yesterday to retain. The aforementioned game yesterday was the last meeting between Sweden and Belarus over the IHLC, a 4-3 shootout win for the Swedes. Tre Kronor now moves on to the final leg of the Euro Hockey Challenge to face Switzerland, starting next week in Örebro.
00:51 – PEN – Gunnarsson, slashing
03:33 – PEN – Drozd, hooking
06:12 – PEN – Figren, tripping
07:33 – PEN – Ahnelöv, roughing
12:16 – PEN – Dahlbeck, high sticking
13:18 – PEN – Kovyrshin, hooking
24:33 – GOAL – Pettersson (Harju, Lundqvist)
34:47 – GOAL – Kitarov (Kulakov)
35:36 – PEN – Lundqvist, roughing
41:25 – PEN – team, too many players
45:58 – PEN – Olausson, slashing
45:58 – PEN – Stasenko, roughing
46:31 – PEN – Bäckman, holding
47:53 – PEN – Kronwall, roughing
47:53 – PEN – Kovyrshin, slashing
55:48 – PEN – Karlsson, boarding
W: Nihlstorp (15-16)
L: Mezin (22-24)
SHOTS ON GOAL
7+9+5+2+1 = 24
5+3+5+3+0 = 16
Goaltenders: Anton Forsberg, Christopher Nihlstorp. Defence: Jonas Ahnelöv, Mattias Bäckman, Klas Dahlbeck, Daniel Fernholm, Daniel Gunnarsson, Mattias Karlsson, Staffan Kronwall (A), Henrik Tömmernes. Forwards: Dick Axelsson, Nicklas Danielsson, Sebastian Enterfeldt, Jesper Fasth, Robin Figren, Johan Harju, Simon Hjalmarsson, Joel Lundqvist (A), Niklas Olausson, Niklas Persson (C), Fredrik Pettersson, Dennis Rasmussen.
Goaltenders: Vitali Koval, Andrei Mezin. Defence: Pavel Chernook, Oleg Goroshko, Roman Graborenko, Ilya Kaznadei, Viktor Kostyuchenok, Oleg Misyul, Yevgeni Nogachyov, Nikolai Stasenko. Forwards: Sergei Drozd, Sergei Dudko, Alexander Kitarov (A), Sergei Kolosov, Konstantin Koltsov (A), Yevgeni Kovyrshin, Alexander Kulakov, Dmitri Meleshko, Andrei Mikhalyov, Pavel Musienko (C), Alexander Pavlovich, Andrei Stas.