International Ice Hockey Federation

Forsberg flips France

Forsberg flips France

Leading scorer notches two in 4-2 Sweden win

Published 12.05.2015 00:05 GMT+2 | Author Andrew Podnieks
Forsberg flips France
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - MAY 11: Sweden's Jacob Josefson #16 reacts after a third period goal against France's Cristobal Huet #39 while Florian Chakiachvili #62 and Teddy Trabichet #47 look on during preliminary round action at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Filip Forsberg scored two goals, including his tournament-leading 8th early in the third to break a 2-2 tie, to send Sweden on its way to a 4-2 win over France.

With the win Sweden clinches second place in Group A and will play the third-place team in Group B in Ostrava on Thursday in the quarter-finals.

"Obviously, we’re happy with the three points today," said Jacob Josefson. "We finished second in the group here. It’s a good job by the guys, and we’re really looking forward to the quarter-finals."

France remains in last place with three points, one behind Latvia. The two teams play tomorrow in a huge game. If either team wins in regulation or overtime, it will qualify for Russia 2016 while the loser will be relegated to Division I except for one case. If Austria stays at five points and France and Latvia also end up with five points with a French victory in overtime or shootout, then Austria will be the relegated team due to the worst record in the head-to-head games between these teams.

"We’ve gained confidence from playing against these big teams," suggested Damien Fleury, who scored two goals for France. "We scored some goals. I’m happy with the way I’ve played, but we lost. Now it’s a forgotten game for me. We’re focusing on the game tomorrow. We know how to play. For sure there will be some pressure."

Defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson had a goal and two assists for the winners and now leads the tournament with eleven scoring points. In the long and storied history of the World Championship no defenceman has ever finished first in scoring. Ekman-Larsson also led all players with 25:35 of ice time.

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The last time France beat Sweden at the Worlds was 1937, a losing streak that now sits at ten games.

The go-ahead goal at the 52-second mark of the third came off two French errors in the centre-ice area. Compounding a turnover was a terrible line change, giving Forsberg a clear break. He beat Cristobal Huet with a shot to the near side as the goalie dropped down to cover the lower half of the net.

Although the first period had but one goal it featured several other good scoring chances. Joakim Lindstrom let go a wicked wrist shot from the slot, but Huet, making his first appearance in six days, made a sensational glove save.

A short time later, Nicklas Danielsson had a breakaway but didn’t get a good shot off. At the 11:00 mark, though, Tre Kronor opened the scoring. Oscar Klefbom’s shot hit a man in front, leaving Huet out of position when Josefson got to the rebound. The Swede tucked the puck in to make it 1-0.

"It was a good bounce for me," Josefson said. "It was a shot from the point there, and it just bounced right out on my tape. I just tried to bury it as hard as I could. It was nice to see it go in."

The French came right back, though, and Antoine Roussel fed a perfect pass to Damien Fleury in the slot. He drilled a shot that hit Enroth in the three crowns on his chest.

The second period started with a bang. Just 34 seconds in, Fleury snapped a loose puck past a stunned Enroth, and the game was tied at 1-1. Fleury scored again on his next shift as well. The French created a 3-on-2 but appeared to botch the play as they got to the Sweden goal, but the puck came free and Fleury was right there again to bury it at 2:52.

In truth, France was the better team in the middle period, but Sweden managed to tie the game later on the power play. Just nine seconds after Charles Bertrand was called for cross-checking, Forsberg notched his tournament-best 7th goal from the top of the faceoff circle at 14:52.

After Forsberg made it 3-2 early in the third with his 8th, Ekman-Larsson added a fourth when he was allowed to walk in to the slot and drill a shot over Huet's glove. Coach Dave Henderson put in Florian Hardy for the rest of the game.


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