Sweden 3 Slovakia 0
Jesper Wallstedt showed the world why he is one of the best goaltending prospects in hockey.
The Swedish netminder made 48 saves as his team shut out Slovakia 3-0 at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Red Deer Monday night.
After scoring three power play goals in its tournament opening game on Boxing Day – a 6-3 victory over Russia – Sweden’s special teams continued to produce early against Slovakia at the Peavey Mart Centrium.
Sweden opened the scoring with a power play tally, when forward Theodor Niederbach blasted a one-timer past Slovakia goaltender Simon Latkoczy 6:25 into the first period.
The goal came after Slovakia forward Jakub Demek took a two-minute tripping penalty. Shortly before the penalty, Wallstedt made a magnificent post-to-post save to rob Slovakia forward Simon Nemec of what appeared to be a sure goal.
Swedish forward Albert Sjoberg put his team up two goals 6:50 into the second after putting the puck through the legs of Slovakia defender Denis Bakala, speeding towards the net and snapping a shot over Latkoczy’s blocker hand.
Despite trailing by two at the end of the second, Slovakia had a 30-19 shot advantage. Slovakia continued to control play in the third period as well.
Leo Loof received a five-minute match penalty for checking Slovakia’s Nemec in the head.
Slovakia had chances on the extended power play, but was unable to beat the Swedish netminder, who was selected by the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the 2021 NHL Draft.
Nearing the final minute of the five-minute power play, Slovakia emptied its net to get a six-on-four man advantage. Sweden’s Elias Stenman then took a delay of game penalty by flipping the puck over the glass, giving Slovakia a brief six-on-three advantage.
But Slovakia still couldn’t get one past Wallstedt, thanks in part to some effective shot blocking by the Swedish penalty killers.
Daniel Ljungman added an empty-net goal en route to Sweden’s 3-0 victory.