U18 Day 3: Swedes survive

Sweden's 5-3 win against Finland sets up a battle of the unbeatens tomorrow.


The Swedes were one step ahead of Finland in their 5-3 win. Photo: IIHF/HHoF/Pekka Mononen

KAZAN, Russia – The Nordic nations skated in a thriller as Sweden held off Finland in a 5-3 victory. Sweden is now unbeaten in preliminary round action. Canada also stayed perfect in its group as they downed Denmark, 4-1. Both Canada and Sweden have key games tomorrow as they will face Russia and the United States, respectively. All four teams are unbeaten thus far.

Finland – Sweden 3-5 (1-0, 1-3, 1-2)

Sweden edged Finland in at the U18 Championship today in what could turn out to be a key match-up in preliminary round action for Group B. Sweden is now unbeaten in two games, while the Finns have a win and a loss.

It was an even battle between the Nordic nations as the Finns went out to an early 1-0 lead with a five-on-three goal 4:08 into the game, only to see the Swedes score three straight goals in the second period to climb out to a 3-1 advantage. The Swedish comeback started 3:46 into the second period as Henrik Bjorklund and Ilmari Pitkanen scored less than 40 seconds apart. At the midway mark of the period, Magnus Pajarvi netted the third goal.

But Finland worked its way back into the game when Matias Sointu cut the lead to one goal with a power-play tally in the waning minutes of the period. Henrik Eriksson restored the two-goal pad for the Swedes to open the second period, but once again the Finns were quick to counter as Teemu Hartikianen pulled Finland once again to within a goal. The Finns tried everything in their power to get the equalizer, including pulling goaltender Joonas Kuusela for the extra skater in the final minutes, but were denied their hopes of a late comeback as Sweden scored the empty netter and held on for the 5-3 win.

Sweden has perhaps its most important test tomorrow when it plays the U.S., which is also undefeated in the preliminary round. Finland has the day off after two straight days of action.

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Denmark – Canada 1-4 (0-1, 1-2, 0-1)

Corey Trivino’s hat trick lifted Canada to its second win at this year’s World U18 Championship as the Canada topped Denmark, 4-1.

While the score looks close, Canada actually out-shot Denmark 43-19 in the win. Marco Scandella scored for Canada 15:30 into the game as the first period was relatively even. But then Trivino struck with two equal-strength goals in the second period to make it a 3-0 affair. Despite a power-play tally from the Danes to close the second period scoring, the win was well out of reach. Trivino ended all Danish hopes with his third goal midway through the third as Canada skated on to the three points.

The Canadians now sit atop the Group A standings with a six points in two games. Russia is also unbeaten in its first two games. Meanwhile, Denmark is at the other end of the spectrum along with winless Germany in the standings.

Canada's Cody Hodgson was quicker than Dane Simon Gronvaldt. Photo: IIHF/HHoF/Mikael Fitzon

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Click here for scores and statistics.
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