World Juniors: Söderström Stones Team USA

Published on 28-Dec-2015 by J Square Humboldt

NHL    NHL Daily Review

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World Juniors: Söderström Stones Team USA

The days of North American might vs European finesse in international hockey are long gone.

As much as the NHL's Euro-influx is influential in this change, the fact that NHL games are now readily available in Europe is more so.

Case in point: the Tre Kronor -- three crowns, the symbol for Sweden's national team -- fields a defense that could easily mix it up on the gridiron. And they don't mind letting the North Americans know.

Here's all 6-4 (193cm) and 216lb (98kg) of Adam Ollas-Mattsson saying hello to Alex DeBrincat (5-7/170 and 161/73) at the start of the USA v Sweden game in Helsinki this evening:

Moral of the story: Sweden finishes.

That included their key rush in the second period when they caught the American blueliners pinching:

That happens to be Alexander Nylander, little brother of highly touted William Nylander, who missed this game due to concussion symptoms after being rabbit-sticked in the Switzerland game.

Like his older sibling, 17-year-old Alexander plays in the OHL for Mississauga. And yes, they're Michael Nylander's kids.

Rugged defense and that lone goal set the stage for Linus Söderström, who turned aside a whopping 46 shots -- 21 against the power play -- to make that goal stand up and put Sweden atop Group A.

The blueliners did a strong job of keeping most of those shots out on the wings, with Söderström cleaning up everything that did get through:

Sweden's clash with Canada is set for New Year's Eve. The USA will finish pool play against Denmark and Switzerland, which should go well for them.

The knockout round follows, where scores will well and truly be settled.