Photo credit:© Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
WATCH: Jonathan Lekkerimäki snipes for Team Sweden in World Juniors exhibition
By Mike Gould1 year ago
Vancouver Canucks top prospect Jonathan Lekkerimäki got on the board for Team Sweden in Monday’s 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship tune-up game against Team Canada.
While the World Juniors have yet to officially begin, Lekkerimäki managed to make a strong early impression against Canada in exhibition play.
The Canucks’ 2022 first-round pick managed to beat Detroit Red Wings prospect Sebastian Cossa — Canada’s presumptive starting goaltender at the tournament — with a slick wrister after taking a feed from Swedish teammate Theodor Niederbach (coincidentally also a Red Wings prospect).
Niederbach, who also scored Sweden’s first goal of the game, picked up the lone helper on Lekkerimäki’s tally. The even-strength marker came at the 11:48 mark of the third period and cut the Team Canada lead to 4–2.
The Canadians scored the first three goals of Monday’s exhibition contest, with Nathan Gaucher, Mason McTavish, and Kent Johnson all finding the back of the net in the first period. After Niederbach scored shorthanded in the middle frame, Team Canada forward Joshua Roy responded early in the third period to make it 4–1.
While Lekkerimäki and William Wallinder made it close with goals in the final 10 minutes of regulation, Team Canada ultimately held on to take the game by a 4–3 score.
Shots favoured the Canadians by a 30–26 count; while Team Canada starter Dylan Garand stopped all 15 shots he faced in the first half of the game, Cossa subsequently allowed three goals on 11 Swedish attempts.
The 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship will begin in Edmonton on August 9 and will run through August 20. Both Team Canada and Team Sweden will begin play on August 10, with the Swedes facing Team Switzerland (11:00 a.m. PT) and the Canadians taking on Team Latvia (3:00 p.m. PT).
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