With a strong two-way effort, the Swiss overwhelmed the undisciplined Junior Crowns in the first period, collecting three consecutive power plays and outscoring their opponents 9-4.
Things got busier in the second period, from scrums along the boards to calculated reverse hits. Goal chances remained sparse. Near the halfway mark, both Patenaude and Wallstedt were forced to be sharp as the teams exchanged back-to-back rushes.
Torgersson finally broke the deadlock with 3:05 left in the middle frame.
Defender Simon Edvinsson’s shot deflected off Switzerland’s Marlon Graf, who was covering the center point. Torgersson, a Frolunda-schooled Winnipeg Jets prospect who suited up for both AIK and the AHL’s Manitoba Moose last year, took advantage of the broken play and tricked Patenaude with a low backhand through bodies in front.
In the third period, the Swedes came out storming. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead at 0:24 on Torgersson’s second goal, which also had a flukey element. He made his way into the right faceoff circle and set the puck off Swiss captain Simon Knak’s stick with an attempted pass that came right back to him. Torgersson then slid the disc through Patenaude.
Just 10 seconds later, Isak Rosen made it 3-0 with a quick snap shot from the left faceoff circle, beating Patenaude high to the stick side. It looked like the game was over. But not so fast!
The Swiss refused to give up. Biasca raced down the right wing, used defenseman Mans Forsfjall as a decoy and dropped a wrister that handcuffed Wallstedt to the stick at 8:47.
Switzerland cut the deficit to 3-2 at 11:13. Behind the goal line, forward Joshua Fahrni found Allenspach in the left faceoff circle, and his high ring bolted out the net.
Moments later, Patenaude made a stunning left-footed save on Daniel Ljungman from a similar spot to keep it a one-goal game.
With 6:58 left, Switzerland had a huge opportunity to tie when Sweden’s Theodor Niederbach was ejected with a five-minute major for boarding. However, Wallstedt held the fort despite strong Swiss pressure.
With less than four minutes remaining, a penalty to Swiss captain Simon Knak dampened the red and white team’s momentum, and pulling Patenaude in the dying seconds was too little, too late.
The Swedish coaching staff wore #21 on their bats in honor of Börje Salming. The legendary Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman, who was named to the 2008 IIHF Centennial All-Star Team, sadly just announced his diagnosis with ALS.
Switzerland is currently without defender Noah Delemont, who suffered a minor injury in a preliminary competition. The Swiss have registered 24 players and have one spot open. They have Delemont and Joel Marchon with the team in Edmonton.
Sweden’s all-time junior world record against Switzerland improved to 22 wins and four losses. The last Swiss win over Sweden came on January 2, 2019. It was a 2-0 quarter-final shocker in Victoria, thanks to goalkeeper Luca Hollenstein’s 41-save finish.