Sweden secures semifinal berth with 5-0 victory over Russia

OTTAWA – Andre Petersson and Sweden’s national junior team put Russia away early.

Petersson, an Ottawa Senators draft pick, scored twice as Sweden (4-0) registered four first-period goals to beat Russia 5-0 and secure a semifinal berth Wednesday at the world junior hockey championship.

“The first period was brilliant,” said Swedish coach Par Marts. “We took command and didn’t give up anything.”

With the loss, Russia (3-1) will face the Czech Republic in quarter-final action. These two teams met in a quarter-final game last year, with the Russians winning 4-1.

“It’s the same as last year,” said Russian forward Nikita Filatov. “(Playing) the Czechs will be a tough game.”

But Filatov was at a loss to explain his club’s terrible opening period.

“It was difficult to understand,” said Filatov, a member of the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch. “We just didn’t have our best start and then we started to play better in the second and third.

“That’s the way we have to play the whole game.”

Simon Hjalmarsson, Mikael Backlund and Marcus Johansson had the other goals for Sweden, which has six returnees from last year’s team that lost to Canada in the tournament final. Jacob Markstrom stopped 31 shots for the shutout.

Swedish captain Oscar Moller left the game at the six-minute mark of the second period with an undisclosed injury and didn’t return. No update was provided on his condition.

READ ALSO:  Cory Schneider stops 23 as Moose beat Rampage 4-3 in shootout victory

Russian Danila Alistratov allowed four goals on 12 shots before being replaced by Vadim Zhelbnyuk, who stopped 25 of 26 shots.

“I think it was a really good job by their goalie,” said Filatov. “We know we need a better start the next game.

“Now every game can be your last and I think all the guys understand that.”

Sweden’s power play was solid in the first, converting on both of its chances. The Swedes finished 2-for-8 overall while Russia was 0-for-3.

Petersson opened the scoring at 5:01 of the first, firing a shot between Alistratov’s legs. Hjalmarsson made it 2-0 five minutes later, beating Alistratov with a shot to the glove side.

Sweden went ahead 3-0 with its first power-play goal. Alistratov misplayed the puck, allowing Petersson to score his second of the game. Backlund gave the Swedes a four-goal advantage with just over two minutes remaining to chase Alistratov.

“It’s kind of nice to get some lights on you,” said Petersson. “I’m happy to play like that.”

Russia had several good chances in the second but couldn’t capitalize. Midway through the period the Russians had a 2-on-1 advantage but couldn’t even muster a shot on goal, epitomizing the kind of game they were having.

Johansson rounded out the scoring early in the third when he took the puck from the side boards and beat Zhelobnyuk to the glove side.