Gustav Forsling scored twice and William Nylander setup a pair of goals, including the game winner, as Sweden edged Russia 3-2 Monday night at the world junior championship.
Detroit Red Wings’ 2014 seventh round pick Axel Holmstrom netted the eventual game winner at 10:53 of the third period, one timing an Oskar Lindblom feed for his first of the tournament.
Monday’s matchup between the Russians and Swedes featured two 2014 New York Islanders draft picks in goal.
Fourth-round selection Linus Soderstrom made 27 saves for the win while third-round pick Ilya Sorokin stopped 23 shots in the loss.
Vyacheslav Leschenko scored both goals for Russia.
The win improves Sweden to 3-0-0 at the tournament and keeps them atop Group B while the loss dropped Russia to 1-1-1.
Despite the early tournament success, Nylander, the Toronto Maple Leafs 2014 first round pick, believes Sweden has room to improve.
“I think we’ve got a little ways to go,” said Nylander, who now has two goals and two assists in three games. “We’re still not at our top level yet. We’ll get there as the playoff round starts.
“I think as a team we played a lot better in the first. We want to try to get our game to be as consistent as we played in the first. I think we gave them some more chances there in the second and then picked it up in the middle of the third. We just need that consistency and we’ll be good.”
Forsling, the Vancouver Canucks’ fifth-round selection at the 2014 NHL Draft, opened the scoring with his first of the tournament at 10:38 of the first.
With Calgary Flames prospect Rushan Rafikov serving a hooking penalty, Forsling put his point shot past a screened Sorokin.
After Leschenko scored twice to give Russia a 2-1 lead, Forsling added his second of the night and the tournament with a point shot, which found its’ way past Sorokin.
“It was nice. There was many people in front of the goal so I just get a shot through the guys and to see it go in — it was nice,” said Forsling. “Nylander sets me up really good. We’ve got some people in at the goal so I’ve got to give thanks to them.”
Nylander admitted post game that his familiarity with linemates Holmstrom and Lindblom, a Flyers’ prospect, from the Under-18 tournament has helped at this year’s Under-20 tournament.
The trio combined for five points in the win.
“Being together on such a short notice, you’re able to pick up the chemistry together cause we played together there at the U 18 so it’s getting better and better every day,” said Nylander.
Added Holmstrom: “William is such a good player. Probably one of the best players in this tournament. We’re good together.”
Sweden concludes the preliminary round against Switzerland on Wednesday while Russia plays the Czech Republic.