It is the “battle of Scandinavia” for copper, as Sweden and Finland hit the ice in the Czech Republic.
Two teams with a long history of rivaling at the IIHF World Youth Championship meet again on Sunday in a repeat of the 2014 gold medal game that Finland won in overtime. This victory began a decade during which the Finns won three gold medals. Sweden has not won the title since 2012.
Neither team has won bronze in more than 10 years – Sweden in 2010 and Finland in 2006. However, they will seek the prize this year to avoid going home empty handed.
The teams met in the opening game of the Group A game when the Swedes won 3-2 overtime. It was a dandy of a game that saw Vancouver Canucks prospect Nils Hoglander tie the game at one with a lacrosse style goal. Alexander Holtz won the race and the Swedes will not lose a single game until Saturday’s semifinal loss to Russia. The country has dominated the preliminary game since 2008, setting a 52-0 record. However, in these 12 years they only won one gold, five silver and one bronze medal.
A talented jam team made a tournament of 29 goals, allowing the fewest (13, tied with Russia). Hoglander has netted 10 points (five goals, five assists); However, his condition is high in the air as he was fired from the semifinals after a big blow. Samuel Fagemo, the second round of the 2019 Los Angeles Kings, is the first to score seven goals. Toronto Maple Leafs Defenseman Rasmus Sandin has dominated the game at both ends and has scored two goals in the semifinal. Hugo Alnefelt, who looked shy at first but settled against Russia, is expected among the pipes Sunday.
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Finland comes 5-0 from Canada in the other semifinal. Justus Annunen played well in the tournament – registering a .921 winning percentage – but faced Canadian offense. The Finns have a strong blue line with switches that can succeed above the circles. They will greatly support veteran defenders Anttoni Honka, Ville Heinola and Toni Utunen to settle the defense and contribute to the offense. Kristian Tanus was one of Finland’s top fans as he created the game that won the game with the United States on a one-way pass. leads the team with eight points (two goals, six assists). Patrik Puistola, the Carolina Hurricanes prospect, is the top scorer with four points.
Sporting News has all the action as Sweden and Finland fight for the bronze medal at the 2020 World Youth Championships.
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(All times are Eastern)
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