Sweden grabs world title on home ice
Updated: 2013-05-21 07:09
By Agence France-Presse in Stockholm (China Daily)
Sweden's players celebrate with the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship trophy after their final victory over Switzerland at the Globe Arena in Stockholm on Sunday. Grigory Dukor / Reuters
Sweden battled back from a goal down to grab its ninth world ice hockey title on Sunday with a 5-1 win over unfancied Switzerland.
Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin collected two goals and an assist, while goalkeeper Jhonas Enroth made 26 saves to avenge a 3-2 defeat in the preliminary round.
The win has also ended the home-ice curse that prevented the championships' hosts from winning the title on home ice since the Soviet team did it in 1986.
Switzerland's silver was the team's first medal at the world championships after a 60-year wait.
"It's terrific to be world champions," New Jersey Devils defender Henrik Tallinder said. "It's especially great to win the title in front of our home crowd."
"We started the event unimpressively but managed to improve our performance day by day to finish on top."
The Swiss took the lead at 4:45 through Nashville Predators defense Roman Josi, who sent the puck in with a close-range backhand shot.
Philadelphia Flyers blueliner Erik Gustafsson pulled Sweden level four minutes later, sending home a rebound after Fredrik Pettersson's powerful slap shot.
Henrik Sedin lifted Sweden 2-1 up at 11:38 with a powerplay goal sending the puck into the unguarded net on his twin brother Daniel's feeding pass.
Simon Hjalmarsson scored Sweden's third goal 7:13 into the third period, sweeping home a rebound after a mixup in the Swiss defense.
Dallas Stars left wing Loui Eriksson made it 4-1 at 55:37, while Henrik Sedin rounded off the scoring with his shorthanded empty net goal with 3:24 to go.
"We started well and scored," said Swiss defender Severin Blindenbacher.
"Things went our way early in the match but we collected too many penalties in the first period and allowed them to grab control and win the game."
The United States won bronze after beating co-host Finland 3-2 in a penalty shootout.
"I'm really proud of my players, who clinched this very important win for our country," US manager Joe Sacco said.
(China Daily 05/21/2013 page24)