STOCKHOLM – The Preliminary Round is now complete. Sweden defeated Denmark 4-2 in the last game of the first round at the Globe Arena. Sweden now moves into the quarter-finals against Canada on Thursday. The quarter-final games are now set and Sweden will be taking on Canada this Thursday at 20:15.
The Sedins wasted no time in making their presence felt. In their first game on the big ice in the tournament, Daniel Sedin scored and added an assist while brother Henrik did the same to spark Sweden. Head coach Pär Mårts added Loui Eriksson with their line and he picked up two big assists.
Denmark came into the game having avoided relegation with their 3-2 win over Belarus. Denmark played a particularly strong game, including a first period where they managed to grab the lead.
"Give them a lot of credit, they played hard." Said Gabriel Landeskog. "They gave us all we could handle tonight and played like they were fighting for a playoff position."
Coming into the game Sweden had never lost to Denmark in seven tries.
Morten Madsen put Denmark up 1-0. The goal was set up by some nice work by Kirill Starkov along the backboard. He stickhandled past two Swedish defenders and sent a pass to Madsen who converted. The goal came at 7:40 putting some shock in the air among the capacity crowd at the Globe Arena.
Sweden ramped up their attack at the end of the first period, getting quality chances and shots on goal. Their best chance when still behind was when Eriksson took a shot that hit the crossbar.
Daniel Sedin’s goal evened things up. Loui Eriksson’s pass between two defenders in front on Sedin’s stick was a precision play that allowed Sedin to score. For Sedin it was his first World Championship goal eight years to the day he last scored for his team at the 2005 tournament in Austria.
Starkov then scored with a delayed penalty. As Danish goaltender Patrick Galbraith went to the bench for the extra skater, Denmark controlled the puck, searching for a way to make something happen.
Morten Green wound up and shot the puck on goal. Starkov managed to redirect it in past Jacob Markström. Morten Madsen also picked up an assist.
Going into the third period down one was a wakeup call for Sweden. A motivated attack to start the final period brought them level and then ahead of Denmark.
Henrik Sedin lit the spark and awoke the 11,568 in attendance twenty-two seconds into the third period when he scored. From there, Sweden’s game picked up quite a bit and a little over a minute later got the go ahead goal.
A backhand pass from Oscar Lindberg found the stick of Martin Thörnberg. His wrist shot made it 3-2 at 1:36 of the period. Thörnberg’s first goal of the tournament could not come at a better time.
Thörnberg then added a second as he split the defense capitalized on his chance. Fredrik Pettersson and Alexander Edler assisted on the goal.
"It's good to get some guys to score some goals before we go to the quarter-final." Said Oscar Lindberg. "It was a big win."
For Sweden it’s been an enigmatic World Championship thus far. While the home side has won five of its seven games, they have had offensive struggles throughout. Tonight’s strong third period comeback should give them something to think about.
With the off day tomorrow, Sweden will have chance reflect on what they’ve done and still yet to do before the puck drops against Canada.