Spisska Nova Ves, Slovakia – Canada’s hopes of a medal at the 2017 IIHF World U-18 Championship have been dashed.
Sweden defeated Canada by a 7-3 margin in quarter-final action Thursday morning, bringing a premature end to Canada’s time at the tournament.
Jacob Olofsson scored twice to boost the Swedes and goaltender Adam Ahman made 25 saves to backstop his nation into the semifinals.
Fabian Zetterlund opened the scoring with an unassisted effort that came with only three seconds remaining in the first period, as Sweden held a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. Canada was able to strike back early in the second as Matthew Strome (Hamilton Bulldogs, OHL) scored an unassisted marker of his own 1:58 into the middle period.
Oskar Back restored the lead for Sweden at the 10:36 mark and Olofsson scored his first of the day 2:57 later to make it a 3-1 game.
The Canadians got one back 1:15 after Sweden had pulled ahead by a pair as Mackenzie Entwistle (Hamilton Bulldogs, OHL) made it 3-2. Defenceman Josh Brooks (Moose Jaw Warriors) collected an assist on the play.
Before the second period came to a close Rickard Hugg restore Sweden’s two-goal lead with a power-play effort that came with only 22 seconds remaining before the intermission.
Building upon that, the Swedes scored twice in the opening 10 minutes of the third period to take complete control of the proceedings. Olofsson tallied his second of the day and Erik Brannstrom made it a 6-2 game 8:30 into the third period.
Maxime Comtois (Victoriaville Tigres, QMJHL) cut into Sweden’s lead with 5:53 to go in regulation. Shortly thereafter, goaltender Ian Scott (Prince Albert Raiders) was pulled in favour of the extra attacker as Canada tried desperately to mount a late comeback. But Isac Lundestrom put an end to any hope of that, scoring into an empty net to make it a 7-3 game.
Scott finished the day with 27 saves.
With the win, Sweden advances to the semifinals and will face the winner between the United States and Switzerland. In other quarter-finals action, Finland narrowly edged the Czech Republic by a 6-5 tally to advance to the semifinals where they will take on the winner between Russia and Slovakia.
WHL Players at the 2017 IIHF World U-18 Championship
Vladislav Yeryomenko, Calgary Hitmen – 5 GP, 2G-1A—3 points
Stelio Mattheos, Brandon Wheat Kings – 5 GP, 4-0—4
Cody Glass, Portland Winterhawks – 3 GP, 2-1—3
Kyle Olson, Tri-City Americans – 5 GP, 2-1–3
Jett Woo, Moose Jaw Warriors – 5 GP, 1-1—2
Josh Brook, Moose Jaw Warriors – 5 GP, 0-2—2
Ty Smith, Spokane Chiefs – 5 GP, 0-1—1
Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Spokane Chiefs – 5 GP, 0-0—0
Ian Scott, Prince Albert Raiders – 4 GP, 1-1-0-1, 4.02 GAA, .861 SV%
Mark Rubinchik, Saskatoon Blades – 4 GP, 2-4—6