54 games. That’s how long it has been since the Swede’s have lost a preliminary round game at the World Junior Championships. It doesn’t matter who has been in their group, somehow, someway they have been perfect. However, just because they have had preliminary round success does not mean they have had medal round success. Sweden has one won gold medal since 1981, that was in the 2012 tournament.
It’s truly one of the more impressive sports statistics, either way you look at it. It’s impressive they have won 54 games in a row, it’s probably even more impressive they only have one gold medal to show for it.
Sweden will put their streak on the line tonight against Russia at 9:30PM EST. Despite Sweden beating Russia 7 times during the streak, they are in my opinion a weaker team than Russia. Russia recently lost to the Czech Republic in the tournament, however, the bounce back game they had against Austria makes me believe they are ready for this challenge.
Most importantly, Podkolzin got going for the Russians against Austria, one of Russia’s best players who recently has not had a good WJC showing. It’s also time for Askarov to truly show why he’s one of the best goalie prospects in the world, despite having a .961SV% in the KHL, he has been lackluster in both this year and last years WJC.
Russia is bigger, Russia is faster and Russia has more skill, the Swedish streak ends tonight.