Dansk shines as Sweden moves on to play for gold

Saturday, 01.04.2014 / 12:00 PM / News
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com



Oscar Dansk has been the No. 1 goaltender for one of junior hockey's best teams this season, and he was a star today in a big spot for his home country.

Facing a Russian team ripe with confidence after beating the United States in the quarterfinal, the Swedes had their hands full on home ice and definitely felt the pressure in today's semifinal match-up. It was a high-octane, intense hockey game all the way through, with Sweden holding a 2-0 lead early in the third period before Russia cut into it.

And what a dramatic third period it was.

Malmo Arena was rocking all throughout the game, and during a pressure-packed third period, the atmosphere was even better. Not even two minutes after Swedish forward Oskar Sundqvist converted a great pass from Erik Karlsson on a breakaway to make it 2-0, the Russians had an answer and the tone of the game took a violent turn.

Damir Zhafyarov's goal made it 2-1 in a flash and it was Dansk's only mistake of the day. The bad-angle shot seemed to surprise Dansk, who was in good position at the post, but the puck rode up his stick and fluttered into the net. A bad break for the Swedes and some good fortune for Russia made for a frantic finish - but the Swedes were up to the task.

Dansk was excellent and did his best work in the third period,

With 1:10 to play and Sweden hanging on to a one-goal lead, the Russians pulled goaltender Andrei Vasilevski for an extra attacker and then got a power play with 19 seconds left. They got a couple late chances but Sweden emerged with a chance to win World Junior gold on home ice for the first time ever.

Now, Sweden awaits the winner of the second semifinal between Canada and Finland, which features Blue Jackets prospects Kerby Rychel and Josh Anderson playing for the Canadians.

If Canada advances, the World Junior gold medal game would feature four Blue Jackets prospects all selected in the last two NHL Drafts.

NOTE: Sweden's coaching staff selected Alexander Wennberg as one of its top three players of the tournament, along with Filip Forsberg and Andreas Johnson.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Johansen 82 33 30 3 63
J. Wisniewski 75 7 44 0 51
B. Dubinsky 76 16 34 5 50
C. Atkinson 79 21 19 -4 40
A. Anisimov 81 22 17 -2 39
N. Foligno 70 18 21 5 39
R. Umberger 74 18 16 -3 34
M. Letestu 82 12 22 1 34
J. Johnson 82 5 28 -7 33
B. Jenner 72 16 13 6 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 32 20 5 .923 2.38
C. McElhinney 10 11 1 .909 2.70
 
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