Crew Sweden opened up the 2020 World Junior Championships with a victory over Crew Finland to stretch their preliminary-round successful streak to an eye-popping 49 video games. It was undoubtedly up within the air for many of the recreation due to a superb effort by Finnish goaltender Justus Annunen. However 17-year-old draft hopeful Alexander Holtz made positive the streak continued by scoring an influence play purpose with solely 5 seconds left on the clock within the extra time. Discuss a clutch efficiency from one of many youngest gamers on the squad.
Grade “A” Goaltending From Annunen & Alnefelt
In case you have been a trainer grading the work of each Sweden’s Hugo Alnefelt and Finland’s Annunen, you wouldn’t hesitate to offer them an A-plus. From the beginning of the sport, each goaltenders appeared phenomenal. As the sport went on Annunen took extra of the highlight ending the sport with 45 saves, lots of them of the spotlight selection.
Alnefelt undoubtedly wasn’t the busiest goaltender on the ice, however he was essentially the most clutch. With Sweden trailing 2-1, he made a spectacular scorpion save from virtually on his abdomen, which stored his staff inside hanging distance. Shortly thereafter, Samuel Fagemo went down the ice and scored the equalizing purpose. If he wasn’t capable of make that save, this recreation doesn’t finish in a Swedish victory.
Regardless of the miscue on the successful purpose, Annunen was additionally wonderful in purpose for the Finns. As the sport progressed he began to remind me of Tuukka Rask and his 53 save shutout efficiency towards these identical Swedes within the 2006 World Junior Championship. He simply had that very same ere about him, assured and almost flawless. He didn’t get a shutout and nonetheless allowed three objectives, however there have been instances when he was channeling his internal Rask.
Name It the Hoglander
It hasn’t even been a 12 months since he was drafted into the Nationwide Hockey League, and Vancouver Canucks second-round decide Nils Hoglander has already scored two seemingly unattainable lacrosse objectives. Properly, perhaps we shouldn’t be shocked any extra because it’s already been executed 4 instances prior to now few months. After scoring an identical purpose together with his membership staff Rogle BK within the Swedish Hockey League, he will need to have thought, why not attempt it on a much bigger stage? That’s precisely what he did and ended up scoring on the identical play but once more.
After Andrei Svechnikov did it within the NHL twice, Hoglander in all probability needed to at the very least match his output. Now let the talk start, ought to we name it the Hoglander or the Svechnikov?
Hoglander didn’t simply rating the jaw-dropping purpose and stroll away, he was harmful all through, ending the sport with two factors and 5 photographs. He was additionally named participant of the sport for Crew Sweden within the post-game ceremonies.
Youth Is Served With Holtz
Clutch, thy identify is Holtz. When 17-year-olds Lucas Raymond and Alexander Holtz have been named to the staff, it was unclear how a lot affect they might have. Seems it might be greater than you suppose. Raymond had his moments, but it surely was Holtz that ended up being essentially the most noticeable of the 2.
He had two breakaway makes an attempt that have been stymied by Annunen after which the successful purpose 5 seconds earlier than the tip of extra time. If Sweden can get contributions from their youth in addition to their veterans, they are going to be nicely on their solution to ending the gold medal drought that has now hit eight years.
The Energy Play and Undisciplined Penalties
If Sweden hopes to win video games within the medal rounds, they’ve to attain on the ability play and keep out of the penalty field. With all of the expertise they’ve on the backend, they need to be capable of rating extra objectives with the person benefit. Granted, they did run right into a sizzling goaltender who stopped almost every little thing, but it surely’s by no means a great signal to complete a recreation with just one purpose on six alternatives. The sport-winner was on the ability play, so I suppose they did find yourself scoring when it mattered essentially the most. Nonetheless, going ahead, it needs to be higher, particularly when the video games turn out to be a matter of life and loss of life.
The opposite half of this coin is penalties and undisciplined play. If not for goaltending and very good penalty killing, Sweden might have discovered themselves down two or three objectives early on. With the sport not even 5 minutes outdated, the Swedes had already taken two penalties, placing them down two males. The five-on-three was nearly a minute and a half lengthy, and fortuitously they didn’t hand over a purpose. However towards Canada, the US or Russia, these penalties might be rather more tough to kill.
What’s Subsequent for Sweden?
After extending their preliminary-round successful streak to 49 video games, the Swedes should be proud of the route their staff is heading. The protection appeared strong and fast in transition, the highest line of David Gustafsson, Hoglander and Fagemo thrived with 4 factors and 18 photographs, and the 17-year-olds didn’t look misplaced. Oh, sure, and the goaltending supplied by Alnefelt was chic. Total, there’s a lot to love about Sweden up to now.
As for his or her subsequent opponent, Crew Sweden will get the time off earlier than assembly up with Crew Switzerland for a match on Saturday. Can they prolong their successful streak to a fair 50 video games?