Team Sweden has once again gone undefeated in the preliminary round of the World Junior Championship for the 13th year in a row. It’s a remarkable run for the Swedes, but they are going to be looking for more than just a successful round-robin at the 2020 World Juniors and set their sights on improving on the clubs’ two gold medals in tournament history. The win against Slovakia has clinched their spot at the top of Group A for the elimination rounds, and they have positioned themselves well to go on a run deep into the second portion of the tournament.
The final game of round-robin play went quite smoothly for the Tre Kronor against Team Slovakia. Some new names hit the scoresheet in today’s game as Sweden was able to get scoring from the depths of their roster, and three players recorded their first goal of the tournament to lift the Swedes to a score of 6-2 over Slovakia.
2020 Draft eligible prospect Alexander Holtz put his range of skills on full display in the final game of the preliminary round. Slovakia’s goaltender stood no chance against the young phenoms laser of a shot, as Holtz blasted two shots past Samuel Hlavaj to bring his goal total up to three goals in the first four games of the tournament. The release on his shot could be a weapon that plays a significant role for Sweden as they head into the elimination stage of the World Juniors.
Dallas Stars prospect Albin Eriksson also had himself a great game as he added his first goal of the tournament. He created several chances to add more as the game went on, including an extraordinary effort on a shorthanded breakaway that somehow stayed out of the Slovak’s net.
Then it was Philip Broberg’s turn to add his name to the scoresheet. The Edmonton Oilers eighth overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft added his first of the tournament off a laser of a shot from the blueline to give Team Sweden a 3-0 lead heading into the second period.
Oskar Back then lit the lamp for Team Sweden for his first goal of the World Juniors shortly after a goal by Linus Oberg was called off for being offside. The goal by the Dallas Stars prospect gave Sweden full control of this game with a 4-0 lead.
Team Slovakia added two goals before the game ended but never really showed any chance at climbing back into the game. A flukey chain of events led to the puck bouncing off Kristian Kovacik and over Hugo Alnefelt to open up the scoring for Team Slovakia. Robert Dzugan then followed up for the Slovak’s with a beautiful snipe off the rush to add his fourth goal of the tournament.
Before the final buzzer went, Samuel Fagemo had to keep his scoring streak alive. The current leading goal scorer of the World Juniors unleashed a bomb of a shot past Hlavaj to add his sixth goal of the tournament and increase his goal-scoring streak to four games.
The win solidifies Team Sweden’s spot at the top of Group A, and they are set to take on the host Team Czech Republic in the quarter-finals of the World Juniors Championship.
Next up: We’ll get you all set for the quarter-final with a full preview of Team Sweden and what to expect as the Swedes head into the elimination rounds of the World Juniors.
Photo Credit- Tre Kronor (Twitter)