International Ice Hockey Federation

Italy no match for Sweden

Italy no match for Sweden

Tre Kronor cruises on eight even-strength goals

Published 12.05.2017 20:48 GMT+2 | Author John Sanful
Italy no match for Sweden
COLOGNE, GERMANY - MAY 12: Sweden's Joel Lundqvist #20 with a scoring chance against Italy's Frederic Cloutier #29 while Tommaso Goi #58 and Markus Gander #57 defend during preliminary round action at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Eight different scorers pace the Sweden offence on the day.

Sweden won its second straight game and third of the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship with an 8-1 win over Italy at LANXESS arena. Goals by Victor Rask and Philip Holm in the first period sealed the win as Sweden awaits the arrival of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to the team here in Germany.

With the New York Rangers eliminated from the NHL playoffs, Lundqvist accepted an invitation to join Sweden and his brother Joel, who is captain of Tre Kronor, at this last major international ice hockey event of the season. 

"It's a dream come true to play a Worlds together," Joel Lundqvist said. "This is my seventh tournament I think and it's never worked out before. It's fun to have him here and be on the same team again. He's a big part of the team, he's stopping the pucks but we need to score as well. He's a big part but we need the whole team. We feel we have the players we need to do well in this tournament."

In fourteen previous World Championship encounters going back to 1935, Sweden has defeated Italy eleven times with three ties. The last time these teams met was in 2014 in Minsk when Sweden won 5-1.

Philip Holm contributed a goal and two assists in only his second game played in the tournament.

"You're always looking for the perfect game. Probably we didn't get it today, but I think we stepped up from yesterday," Lundqvist said of how Sweden played. "We had more speed in our game, we created better chances and had more attacks on the net. We're happier today than we were yesterday."

Sweden was strong on the puck early on and kept Italy on defence. They outshot Italy 15-4 with Holm and Joel Ek Eriksson accounting for six of them. Sustained offensive pressure kept goaltender Frederic Cloutier busy. But the Italians stayed close and had their moments. 

Victor Rask scored his second goal of the tournament to make it 1-0. Rask took a pass in the neutral zone from Elias Lindholm and moved swiftly into the Italian zone. With Gabriel Landeskog and Alexander Egger tied it up in front of him, Rask used them as a partial screen and scored. Rask leads Sweden in scoring with seven points. 

With continued pressure in the Italian zone, Sweden scored again at 8:34 when Holm picked up a rebound off the backboard and punched the biscuit past Cloutier.

When Joel Lundqvist was sent off for tripping three and a half minutes into the second, Italy had several good chances, the first coming when Tommaso Goi was on the doorstep to take a whack at the puck but was stopped. Then Giovanni Morini took a pass from Giulio Scandella and got off a forehand shot that squirted through goaltender Viktor Fasth to halve the lead to 2-1.

This gave the Italians a bit of a boost.

Sweden regained their two goal lead as Jonas Brodin’s slapshot found its way through a crowd.

"In the first two periods we had the puck a lot but the Italians did a great job keeping us outside," Swedish head coach Rikard Gronborg said. "In the third period we finally got some goals as well."

Forty one seconds into the third period, Elias Lindholm added to the offence. Lindholm’s goal was his fifth of the tournament. The dam broke then as Sweden would go on to score four more goals in the period over a nine minute stretch starting with Linus Omark's tally at 10:09 and capped by Dennis Everberg's at 18:25. 

"They hold onto the puck really well, they've got really good players, a great team. I thought we held our own in the first two periods then kind of lost it in the third there. You can't fault us for effort, but they were the better team," Italian defenceman Thomas Larkin, and their best player of the game, said.

Italy played the third period without two skaters. Luca Frigo and Daniel Frank were injured and had to leave the game.


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