After slow start, Swedes edge Swiss
by Lucas Aykroyd|10 AUG 2022
Sweden didn't get on the board against Switzerland until late in the second period, but still won 3-2 at the 2022 World Juniors in Edmonton. Pictured are Oskar Magnusson (SWE, #28) and Nick Meile (SUI, #2).
photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
Daniel Torgersson paced Sweden with two goals as coach Tomas Monten's team was stymied for nearly two periods but still nipped Switzerland 3-2 on Wednesday.

"It’s the first game of the tournament," said Swedish captain Emil Andrae. "Maybe we were a little nervous. I don’t know. A win is a win, and we move on to the next game."

The Swiss trailed 3-0 early in the third period, but rallied to make it close. Coach Marco Bayer's boys took just 2 PIM to Sweden's 33 PIM, but couldn't cash in with the power play.

Isak Rosen had the other Swedish goal.

Replying for Switzerland were Attilio Biasca and Dario Allenspach.

"This game was a good start for us as a team," Biasca said. "We have to build on this and get better every game. But there are so many good teams here. We have to be ready for every shift."

Star Swedish goalie Jesper Wallstedt made 21 saves, while Swiss netminder Noah Patenaude had a solid game as well with 23 saves.

"It was a tough game," Torgersson said. "Switzerland is a good team, but we’re happy with the three points."

The Swedes are questing for just their third gold medal in World Junior history (1981, 2012). Their last title 10 years ago came on Alberta ice. Mika Zibanejad scored the 1-0 overtime winner against Russia in the final at the Calgary Saddledome. Sweden’s last medal came in 2020 (bronze).

The underdog Swiss tumbled to ninth place in 2021 after finishing fourth in 2019 and fifth in 2020. Switzerland owns one bronze medal all-time (1998).
Sweden vs Switzerland - 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship
SWE SUI 10 AUG 2022
With a strong two-way effort, the Swiss outworked the undisciplined Juniorkronorna in the first period, garnering three consecutive power plays and outshooting their opponents 9-4.

Things got chippier in the second period, from scrums along the boards to calculated reverse hits. Scoring chances stayed sparse. Near the midway mark, both Patenaude and Wallstedt were forced to be sharp as the teams traded back-to-back rushes.

Torgersson finally broke the deadlock with 3:05 left in the middle frame.

Defenceman Simon Edvinsson's shot boinged off Switzerland's Marlon Graf, who was covering the centre point. Torgersson, a Frolunda-schooled Winnipeg Jets prospect who suited up for both AIK and the AHL's Manitoba Moose last year, capitalized on the broken play, fooling Patenaude with a low backhand through bodies in front.

"I just saw Simon on the blue line," Torgersson said. "The puck came to the front of the net and I got a backhand on it."

In the third period, the Swedes came out storming. They jumped into a 2-0 lead at 0:24 on Torgersson's second goal, which also had a flukey element. Hustling into the right faceoff circle, he put the puck off Swiss captain Simon Knak's stick with an attempted pass that came right back to him. Torgersson then slipped the disc through Patenaude.

Just 10 seconds later, Isak Rosen made it 3-0 with a quick snap shot from the left faceoff circle, beating Patenaude high to the stick side. It looked like it was game over. But not so fast!

The Swiss refused to surrender. Biasca surged down right wing, used defender Mans Forsfjall as a decoy, and released a wrister that handcuffed Wallstedt on the stick side at 8:47.

Switzerland cut the deficit to 3-2 at 11:13. From behind the goal line, forward Joshua Fahrni found Allenspach in the left faceoff circle and his high zinger bulged the twine.

Moments later, Patenaude made a great left pad kick save on Daniel Ljungman from a similar spot to keep it a one-goal game.

With 6:58 remaining, Switzerland had a huge opportunity to tie up when Sweden's Theodor Niederbach was ejected with a five-minute major for boarding. However, Wallstedt held the fort down despite strong Swiss pressure.

With under four minutes left, a penalty to Swiss captain Simon Knak dampened the red-and-white team's momentum, and pulling Patenaude in the dying seconds was too little, too late.

"We played physical and hard, but the third period we have to start better," said Biasca. "Those two [quick Swedish] goals can’t happen. We got them back, but we have to do more on the power play. In five minutes, we have to create more chances to score."

The Swedish coaching staff wore #21 on their lapels in honour of Borje Salming. The legendary Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman, who was named to the IIHF's Centennial All-Star Team in 2008, sadly just announced his diagnosis with ALS. 

Switzerland is currently missing defender Noah Delemont, who got a slight injury in a pre-competition game. The Swiss have registered 24 players and have one roster spot open. They have Delemont and Joel Marchon with the team in Edmonton.

Sweden’s all-time World Junior record against Switzerland improved to 22 wins and four losses. The last Swiss win over Sweden came on 2 January 2019. It was a 2-0 quarter-final shocker in Victoria, courtesy of goalie Luca Hollenstein’s 41-save shutout.
Sweden vs Switzerland - 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship