Sweden 6, Slovakia 0
New York (The Draft Analyst) — Adrian Kempe and Jens Looke each had a goal and an assist as Sweden used six different goal scorers to eliminate Slovakia and advance to the seminals of the world junior hockey championship.
Sweden (5-0), winners of Group A, held a 56-17 shot advantage over the Slovaks, who last year upset the Swedes in the bronze medal game.
Joel Eriksson-Ek opened the scoring at 5:10 of the first period when he beat goalie Adam Huska with a wrist shot just under the crossbar.
Oskar Lindblom made it 2-0 on the power play with 8:25 left in the first. The Philadelphia Flyers prospect scored after Huska stopped an Axel Holmstrom’s deflection off Kempe’s initial shot but could not control the rebound.
Looke and Christopher Ehn made it 3-0 when the duo combined for a pretty goal midway through the second. The Swedes rushed up and and End made a behind-the-back pass to Looke at the sode of the net for an easy tap-in.
Kempe has had a strong tournament since he suffered an injury against Switzerland in the tournament opener the day after Christmas. He increased the lead to 4-0 in the third period when he corralled a pass in the high slot and fired a quick shot over Huska’s blocker.
Looke was credited for a goal at 5:36 of the third when his shot from inside the blue line caromed off the end boards and deflected in off of Huska’s as he faced the opposite direction. Alexander Nylander capped the scoring with 3:03 left in the game after he blistered a shot from the left circle over Huska’s right shoulder.
Linus Soderstrom stopped all 17 shots en route to posting his second shutout of the tournament. Sweden will meet rival Finland in the semifinals on Monday.
Huska, who appeared in all five of Slovakia’s games, made 49 saves. The New York Rangers draft pick faced a tournament-high 188 shots.