With a trip to the gold medal game on the line, Team Sweden came through with a big 6-2 victory against Czechia Friday night at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup semi-final.
Sweden will play Canada in the final on Saturday at 4 p.m. in what should be an electric atmosphere at the Peavey Mart Centrium.
Sweden forward Otto Stenberg said his teams game was a little bit up and down but overall they played as a team.
“We play for each other and it was a really good win,” Stenberg told the Advocate.
In the opening period Swedish forward Zeb Forsfjall with a few minutes remaining got Sweden on the board.
They didn’t score again until a few minutes into the second period with a beautiful goal by Noel Nordh.
However, Czechia kept themselves in the game midway through the second period when Jakub Stancl got his team within one goal.
With just two minutes left in the period Sweden regained their two-goal lead when forward Noah Dower Nilsson made his way in front and fired the puck into the back of the net.
In the third period the Czech’s scored their second goal while on the penalty kill when forward Jiri Felcman got a breakaway chance. He deked Swedish goalie Noah Erilden out of position and placed it just over top of his pad to come within one goal.
With Czechia pushing to tie the game in the final frame with just over three minutes left to play Swedish forward Stenberg sniped a shot in the top right corner over Czechia goaltender Michael Hrabal to send the Swedes to the gold medal game.
“I saw the top corner and just tried to shoot and it went in so it was amazing,” Stenberg added. “It’s amazing to be here in Canada. It’s such a great hockey country and to play here for Sweden it’s fantastic.”
Sweden would add two more goals, an empty netter by Wille Johansson and another fantastic goal by Stenberg. Sweden last played Canada on the final preliminary game of the tournament Wednesday night and lost 3-0. This time around Sweden will be looking for revenge and Stenberg said it will be a lot of fun to play in front of a large crowd.
“It was an amazing atmosphere in the arena last time and hopefully it’s better tomorrow. We will do our best and hopefully we win,” he added.
With the loss Czechia will play in the bronze medal game against Finland at noon in the Peavey Mart Centrium with the gold medal game to follow.