Hundreds of years of war between nations is now fought on the hockey rink. As Sweden and Denmark crowned new kings they would wage war on each other and steal other lands in Scandinavia from one to another. Now we are here. Sweden was the dominant hockey force among the Nordic countries for decades. Norway felt more like conquering the ski hills, Finland just wanted to stay warm, Iceland couldn't pay for a sports trip to save its life, but now Denmark is on the rise. Denmark went to the quarter finals of last years World Juniors. They aren't getting blown out 42-0 anymore. Can Denmark do the unthinkable and beat the Swedes? It would accomplish one thing, it would make all of Scandinavia happy to see the big boss taken down.
Before the game Sweden was 2-0-0-0, beating Switzerland 8-3 and the USA 1-0. Denmark was 1-0-0-1, defeating Switzerland 2-1 and losing to Canada 6-1.
Denmark won the opening face off and after a turnover at their blue line Adrian Kempe (Los Angeles) took the puck and scored on the first shot of the game. Oskar Lindblom (Philadelphia) was awarded the assist.
Through the first TV time out this was mostly a game f keep away by the Swedes. Coming back, at 11:57 Maple Leafs prospect Dymtro Timashov was roughed up by Alexander True (2016 draft) in the corner, and he was given a 4:00 penalty for roughing/holding. Timashov helped sell that but the penalty was deserved. The Swedes would get some rest before the power play as the ice is patched up.
A lot of nice passing by the Swedes on the power play, and a shot by Alex Nylander (2016 draft) was saved. The Danes didn't touch the puck much but when they did it was immediately cleared from their zone. Sweden scores with a minute remaining in the penalty. Gustav Forsling (Vancouver) had the goal with assist from Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (Boston).
At the five minute mark Denamrk takes another penalty, this one to Jeppe Holmberg (undrafted) for hooking. The Swedes wouldn't score on this play.
Denmark would come into the Swedish zone and Mathias From (2016 Draft) would take a good shot but Felix Sandstrom (Philadelphia) would make the save.
The first period would go as expected, with Sweden ending the period up 2-0 and controlling play for the most part. The Danes would play like a lower ranked team and use more physical and stick play to try and stop the Swedes, but they were penalized for it. Denmark would warm up and play more, have the puck more, but it wasn't enough for those 20 minutes.
Sweden came on strong to start the second, spending the first two minutes passing in the Denmark end and taking shots. Denmark played good defense and rushed as far as Sweden's blue line before the puck was back in their end.
A big kerfuffle at the Danish net was sticks everywhere, but Thomas Lilie (undrafted) kept the puck out of the net. The Swedes came in hard again a few minutes later which ended up in a scrum around the Danish net as the Danes protect their goalie. Swede will get two minutes on the penalty kill as Carl Grundstrom (2016 Draft) gets two for roughing.
Sweden's penalty kill is playing well, and manages and end to end rush after winning a face off in their own end.
Denmark takes another penalty, Jeppe Holmberg for high sticking, halfway through the period. hey play only 15 seconds until Sweden gets a holding penalty, and we head for 1:45 of 4 on 4. One minute later, Denmark is called for too many men, so we're off to 4 on 3 hockey.
Demark's penalty kill has picked up a lot here, they aren't giving Sweden any good shots and are clogging up the sightlines.
Lots of ice problems here today, twice the crew has brought out fire extinguishers to quick freeze bad patches.
Sweden is controlling the puck for the majority of this period and as I typed that they scored! Possession is 9/10ths of hockey law.
The puck deflected off of Lindbloms foot, the original shot was taken by Adam Ollas Mattsson (Calgary) from the blue line.
Sweden has controlled this game from start to finish over the 40 minutes. The Danes would have flashes of play but this is all Sweden. As the second period ends, shots are 34-6 for Sweden
The Danes start throwing harder checks in the third period. No penalties but some were bordering on boarding (say that three times fast). Frustration is setting in. Can the Swedes take advantage? Or will they slow their game down and play for the shut out?
Not a lot is happening in the third aside from Sweden owning the puck. Halfway through the period William Lagesson (Edmonton) scores from the point on a shot Lillies was screen on, to make it 4-0 Sweden.
With a few minutes left Alexander Nylander (2016 Draft) skates into the Denmark zone, calls for the puck, and gently taps it into the Danish goal to make it 5-0 Sweden.
Lillies has been facing his most action in the few minutes left in the third period. Sweden acts as if they've scored at the 2:00 mark but Lillies has the puck in his glove.
The final score: 5-0 Sweden. Shots: 48-8 Sweden.
My three stars:
3) Oskar Lindblom
2) Adrian Kempe
1) Thomas Lillies
Despite the score and shots, Sweden didn't exactly walk over Denmark. Denmark was just over matched. Very overmatched.
Sweden now sits at 3-0-0-0 and Denmark is 1-0-0-2. Sweden will win the group, even if they lose to Canada tomorrow.