Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Swedes shoot early and often
STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Mats Sundin had a goal and two assists to lead Sweden past Germany 5-2 Tuesday in the World Cup of Hockey opener for both teams.
Sundin's goal was a gem, as he whipped a powerful backhander
from the right circle past goalie Olaf Kolzig 1:59 into the second
period to give Sweden a 2-1 lead.
"It's always fun to score a goal, to show the new, young
guys," said the Swedish captain, at age 33 one of the oldest
players on the team. "It was also nice to begin with a win, but
it's not easy to start against a team which is not so good on
paper, a team you're supposed to beat."
Kim Johnsson, Markus Nilsson and Fredrik Modin also scored
second-period goals for Sweden.
Tomas Holmstrom put Sweden ahead with a power-play goal in the
opening period when he knocked a rebound past Kolzig from close
Markus Naslund and former NHL MVP Peter Forsberg assisted on the
goal with a pair of brilliant passes.
Marco Sturm, one of Germany's seven NHL players, tied it 1-1
with a short-handed goal just 1:19 after Holmstrom's goal. Sturm
capitalized on Johnsson's sloppy play in Germany's end, skated
unchallenged to the other end and beat veteran Swedish goalie Tommy Salo with a wrist shot.
Johnsson made up for the blunder later, scoring a power-play
goal from close range midway through the second period to give
Sweden a 3-1 lead.
Sundin set up Nilsson with a nice backhand pass for Sweden's
fourth goal midway through the second period.
Daniel Kreutzer notched another short-handed goal for Germany a
minute later when Salo failed to glove the German's relatively easy
shot from just inside the blue line.
"It was a soft goal, but this was not the kind of game Tommy
wanted," Nilsson said. "He wants a lot of shots."
Germany only managed three shots on Salo in the opening period.
Sweden outshot Germany 42-19 overall.
"Germany was not able to compete in the second period,"
Germany coach Franz Reindl said. "They were physically stronger
and quicker than us. We took too many penalties."