U-17 Championships Day 5 Recap
Sweden vs Atlantic
With a big game at stake for Sweden, they had to beat the Atlantic team. The first period was a back and forth style game with the Atlantic team being more physical. After a while in the period though, Sweden scored on a André Burakowsky goal. That goal seemed to upset Atlantic as they would take a penalty for tripping. Sweden could not take advantage with the extra man, but instead after their powerplay, they would take a penalty themselves. Burkowsky would go to the box for slashing, and Atlantic would take advantage. Kameron Kielly scored a goal with the assists going to Nathan MacKinnon and Mike Lyle. There would be one last Swedish penalty, but Atlantic would not capitalize. Both teams played a chippy first period, but after one it remained 1-1. Shots were 16-9 in favour of Atlantic
The second period seemed like it was taking forever, with both teams exchanging countless penalties and neither team taking advantage. Between that and the sloppy play, fans were getting frustrated and so were the teams. Eventually, Anton Blomberg would score for Sweden to give them a 2-1 lead. Fans were more energetic about Blomberg’s celebration, as he did a Tiger Williams tribute and rode his stick from the Atlantic blue line, all the way down to his own net. When asked about his celebration and the Atlantic reaction, Blomber said,
“I did it back for my home team club and thought I would try to do it here, I didn’t really care, I was excited. They (Atlantic) didn’t say nothing to me.”
Minutes after the Blomberg goal, Atlantic would go to the box again for hooking. Sweden, now on their 3rd powerplay, would take advantage and score when Leon Bristedt put one past the Atlantic goalkeeper (Robert Hagg, and Ohman with the assists). With 5 minutes left in the period, Sweden would get another powerplay and score (now going 2/4) off of a Wilhelm Westlund goal, assists to Jacob De La Rose and Julius Bergman. Atlantic would close the period out with one last penalty. Shots after two periods of play were 21-5 for Sweden, bringing game totals to: 37-14 Sweden.
While Sweden had the powerplay in the 3rd period, they wanted to just make Atlantic pay, and they did. Hagg was able to put one in with the helpers going to Ohman and Amil Krupic. Atlantic kept taking dumb penalties in the period and Sweden would not back down, taking full advantage yet again as Hagg would put in another goal, assisted from André Burakowsky. Atlantic would come back with one goal of their own, as Matthew Murphy was able to get a shorty, but only seconds later, did Sweden score on another that same powerplay as Burakowsky scored from Krupic and Ohman. Sweden kept playing their fresh legs all period and Atlantic looked like a dead horse. The game ended with Sweden winning 8-2, going 5/8 on the powerplay. They also took advantage in the shots department again, putting up 15-11, and game total 52-25 Sweden. Players of the game should have been: Sweden – everyone, Atlantic: water boy, but they went to: Sweden - Tobias Liljendahl, and Atlantic - Andrew Mergl.
After the game we caught up with Nathan MacKinnon from Atlantic and got his thoughts on the game, mainly in particular all the penalties Atlantic took. This is what he said,
“It might have been a different outcome, but at the same time we didn’t play like we wanted. We took some stupid penalties I think. Our penalty kill did a great job but it’s tough to keep going with a team like Sweden when they get two or three of them. Maybe the score would be different, overall I don’t think it would have changed too much. We wish we could go back in time to erase those mistakes, but we can’t and we are trying to go forward and overcome those calls, we’re just doing what we can.”
We also went on to ask him his thoughts on the tournament overall. His response,
“It’s been fun. It’s a good experience playing against the best players in the world for our age. It’s been a good time, I’ve had a lot of fun and I know the guys have had a lot of fun too. We’re enjoying the moment, we’re doing the best we can and have to take home what we can from this tournament.”
We also caught up with Liljendahl from Sweden and asked his thoughts on the powerplay, and if it was a big factor.
“I think we would have still won, it’s good to convert on the powerplay. We still played great throughout the three periods.”
Other results from Monday’s action included:
USA 4 – PAC 2
RUS 6 – WST 3
ONT 6 – QUE 3
**Make sure to follow Brian Raiger & Kyle Busch on Twitter for the latest U-17 news. Russia will play USA for gold, and Ontario will play Sweden for Bronze on January 4th. **