International Ice Hockey Federation

Lindstrom sinks Czechs

Lindstrom sinks Czechs

Tre Kronor earns 4-3 comeback win

Published 12.05.2014 21:14 GMT+3 | Author Peter Westermark
Lindstrom sinks Czechs
MINSK, BELARUS - MAY 11: Sweden's Joakim Lindstrom #12 celebrates with teammates after Team Sweden's second goal of the game during preliminary round action at the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Sweden beat the Czech Republic after a thrilling comeback at Chizhovka Arena, Minsk. Joakim Lindstrom and Oscar Moller had two goals each for Tre Kronor.

Sweden beat the Czech Republic in a thrilling comeback at the 2014 IIHF World Championship. Joakim Lindstrom scored the winning goal after a penalty shootout and also added a goal and an assist.

"I think this is a huge win for us," said Lindstrom. "They gave us every reason to give up and stop playing, but we never quit. We kept working and grinding and digging in there, and we found a way to win."

Midway through, the Czechs had opened up a 3-1 lead, but Tre Kronor battled back through power play goals from Oscar Moller and Lindstrom. Moller also scored the Sweden’s first in the game.

"We’re competing hard and we know each other pretty well out there," said Lindstrom of his line-mates Moller and Backlund. "So it’s easy to read off each other and create stuff. So far, so good."

Tomas Hertl, Jiri Hudler and Tomas Zatovic scored for the Czechs.

The result leaves the Czechs with three points in Group A, while Sweden has five with both teams having played two games.

In a game where special teams played a major role, Sweden scored two times on five attempts and the Czechs had one goal in six tries with the man advantage.  

"It’s tough to say something’s positive, because we led 3-1," said Ondrej Nemec. "We had a couple of penalty kills and they scored two goals. We’ve got a lot of work to do, because we are really bad on the penalty kill right now."

The game started with a bang as the Czech team scored only eight seconds into the contest after turning play around in the neutral zone, catching Sweden moving forward. Tomas Hertl skated past the defense and fired a distinct wrist-shot past Anders Nilsson, who made his second straight start in the Swedish net.

The goal was the second fastest ever in the start of a game at the IIHF World Championhip, tied with Jay McClement of Canada, who scored May 7, 2007 versus the USA.

The Czechs had the best chances in the early going, but gradually, the Swedes evened out play. Tre Kronor tied it up at 11:26 when Oscar Moller picked up a rebound in front of Alender Salak after a shot from Mikael Backlund. Keeping his cool, Moller cut through the outside of the crease before lifting it into the net past a sprawling Salak to make it 1-1.

On their second power play of the night, the Czechs made it 2-1 late in the first when Jan Kovar found Jiri Hudler backing out from his Swedish defenseman. His angled shot squeezed by Nilsson’s right arm as he was closing the gap to the post.

In the middle round, Sweden had the lion’s share of puck possession as the Czechs made sure not to get caught on any odd-man rushes. Patience paid off midway through the second, as the Czech Republic opened up a two-goal lead when Ondrej Nemec took a shot from the blue line that Martin Zatovic deflected past Nilsson, while providing a screen in front of the net. Hertl had the second assist.

With five minutes remaining in the second Hudler was sent to the box for slashing, and the Swedes made the most of the opportunity to cut the lead in half. A minute into the man advantage, Moller scored his second of the game with a slap shot from the blue line after some sweet passing from Joakim Lindstrom and Jimmie Ericsson.

Midway through the third and with the Czechs controlling play at even strength, Tre Kronor made it 3-3 on their fourth man advantage of the game after a Magnus Nygren shot was blocked in front of Salak. Moller picked up the puck, passed the puck right through the slot to Lindstrom who banged it home to tie the game 3-3, as Salak could not get himself into position in time.

When the Czechs had a chance with the man advantage just a minute later, there was almost a quick reply when Jan Kovar hade Nilsson beat at the top of the crease, but he put the puck just wide of the far post.

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In the penalty shootout, Jakub Klepis scored for the Czechs while Jan Kovar and Roman Cervenka was stopped by Anders Nilsson. Backlund missed his attempt, but both Linus Klasen and Lindstrom scored for Sweden with a couple of nice moves.

"I came with a lot of speed and tried to move sideways and shoot at the same time," said Lindstrom. "I found an opening between his legs and it went in, so that’s great."


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