SASKATOON – After claiming silver the last two years, Sweden took home the bronze from the 2010 World U20 Championship by hammering Switzerland 11-4.
Andre Petersson scored a hat trick for Tre Kronor, while Daniel Brodin and Jakob Silfverberg had two goals each.
By a large margin, this marked the most goals scored by one team (11) and by both teams (15) in a World Juniors bronze medal game.
Sweden showed more skill, depth and power than the Swiss, who have looked worn out since their surprising quarterfinal victory over Russia.
“I think our team was really tired,” said Swiss forward Nino Niederreiter. “When I think back, it seems like we have never had a good game against Sweden. We can't be losing 11-4 to Sweden, but they've got a good team.”
Swedish goalie Jacob Markström summed up the regretful mood of his team's returning veterans after the game: “I got the silver last year, so I really wanted to upgrade that to a gold medal this year."
“We had one bad game against the U.S. You have to play your best game in the semi-finals and we didn’t, so we must be happy with the bronze medals,” said Sweden head coach Pär Mårts. “We have to learn to win such games. Today our guys stayed focused and went for it. We wanted to create more traffic and to go harder on the rebounds, which we didn’t do so well before.”
The Swedes encountered little resistance in the first period. Dennis Rasmussen opened the scoring on a rebound near the four-minute mark, following up on a shot from Martin Lundberg.
Tre Kronor then scored four more goals within eight minutes to crush Swiss hopes of winning their second bronze medal ever after 1998.
Anton Lander scored on his own rebound at 11:44. Andre Petersson surprised Switzerland goalkeeper Benjamin Conz, who was not taken out during the game, with a shot from a sharp angle that made it 3-0 on the power play. Four minutes later, he beat Conz with a shot that got through the netminder’s pads. Mattias Tedenby made it 5-0 at 19:04.
“We had a really bad first period, and it just kept going in the second period,” said Niederreiter.
The Swedish scoring streak continued at 3:17 of the middle frame. Conz couldn't control the puck after a Swedish attack, while a Swiss teammate slid into the goal as Silfverberg shot the puck in. Thirty-nine seconds later, Daniel Brodin made it 7-0.
“We came out and we did a very good game, but the semi-final loss against the U.S. still hurts us a lot,” said Sweden forward Magnus Pääjärvi Svensson. “Maybe the frustration was the reason we executed so well against Switzerland.
“It was not our goal to lose the game like that," said Swiss head coach Jakob Kölliker. "We didn’t find our path, especially at the beginning of the game. Maybe we expected too much, but it went better at the end of the game. Sweden showed us what hockey is."
The game became less lopsided after the seventh marker for Tre Kronor. Michaël Loichat scored the first Swiss goal at 26:30 with a lucky drive from the blueline that beat Markström with the eighth Swiss shot of the game. However, Silfverberg and Brodin then scored their second goals of the game on the power play.
The Swiss replied with three goals within three minutes from Dominik Schlumpf during a man-advantage, Jeffrey Füglister at even strength, and Nino Niederreiter during a 5-on-3 power play.
The game ended with Petersson completing his hat trick with a shorthander at 38:40. David Rundblad scored the lone goal of the closing stanza for the final score of 11-4.
“It's not fun standing there when it starts to be over 10 goals,” said Markström of the Swiss decision to leave Conz in net the whole game. “I don't know why they didn't pull him, because he must be exhausted from the Russia game and the Canada game. He had a great tournament.”
Kölliker surprised the spectators with the decision to let Conz play the full game while backup goalie Matthias Mischler didn’t play a minute in this event. “We know about Conz’ capability and he’s in a process he has to deal with such situations and we gave him this chance”, he said about his decision.
“All in all we had a great tournament and we can go home with our heads held high,” Kölliker said after the fourth-place finish. “It was a big step for Swiss hockey. We saw that we can win against a big opponent on a perfect day and with some luck. But at the same time, we can also struggle against teams from the other end, like in the game against Latvia.”
Sweden played without captain Marcus Johansson, who took a match penalty and one-game suspension for elbowing Jerry D'Amigo versus the Americans in the semi-finals.