Game Day: Russia and Sweden prepare for tune up
Russia vs Sweden
Tuesday, December 18th, 2018
Game Time – 7:00 pm
Who’s returning: The Russian’s are returning only one player from last years fifth place squad, Klim Kostin. Kostin, was a first-round pick of the St. Louis Blues in 2017. Kostin is in his second season over in North America, last year he suited up for 67 AHL games with the San Antonio Rampage posting 28 points (6G, 22A) and 72 penalty minutes. This season he has 9 points (4G, 5A) points and 46 penalty minutes in 26 games with the Rampage.
Meanwhile, the Swedes are returning four players from their 2018 silver team; goaltender Olle Eriksson Ek, defencemen Erik Brannstrom and Timothy Liljegren and forward Fabian Zetterlund. Eriksson Ek is a 6’2 goaltender who was drafted in the 5th round by the Anaheim Ducks at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Brannstrom was selected 15th overall by the Vegas Golden Knights at the 2017 NHL draft. Brannstrom is currently playing his first season in North America with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves, the 19-year-old has 20 points (4G, 16A) and 22 penalty minutes in 23 games played. Liljegren was taken two picks after Brannstrom by the Toronto Maple Leafs with the 17th selection. Last spring he helped Toronto Marlies of the AHL take home the Calder Cup Championship. Zetterlund was a third-round pick of the New Jersey Devils at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Who To Watch: Both rosters are filled with plenty of high-end talent, there are a number of players to keep your eye on.
Russian Defenceman, Alexander Alexeyev has piling up the points while patrolling the Red Deer Rebels blueline. He has 31 points (7G, 24A) and 17 penalty minutes in 29 games played. Ivan Chekhovich was named the Canadian Hockey Leagues Player of the Week for the second time this season last Monday, he has 54 points (29G, 25A) and 26 penalty minutes in 32 games.
Be sure to keep a lookout for Sweden’s returners. Youngster Philip Broberg is the only defenceman to have not been drafted yet, every other defender on their roster has been selected no later than the third round. Broberg, a late addition to the preliminary roster, is an A-rated prospect on the ‘Players to Watch’ list by the NHL’s Central Scouting Service. He is projected to be a first-round pick at the upcoming NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver.
Previous Meetings: Over the last nine tournaments the two nations have played each other in memorable preliminary games as well as close playoff games. The Swedes have played the same pool as the Russian’s in six tournaments except for 2013, 2016 and 2017. Sweden has gone 6-0 in all of the games, two needed to overtime including last years New Year’s Eve shootout in Buffalo.
When it comes to playoff action, the two have had to face one another every year dating back to 2010 except for in 2016 in Finland and last year. They’ve only played each other in the medal round, in 2017 the Russian’s downed the Swedes 2-1 in the Bronze game.
This year: The two are in different groups. Russia will play in Group A with Canada, Denmark, Russia, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. Sweden will play in Group B with Finland, Kazakhstan, Slovakia and the United States.
Interesting Stat: Sweden is entering this year’s tournament having gone undefeated in preliminary pool action in seven straight tournaments, not losing a game since 2011. They have won 24 games in regulation and eight in extra time.
Don’t miss your chance to watch these future stars hit the ice, let’s sell out Prospera and show these European players how loud we can get! Tickets are on sale at selectyourtickets.com, at the Prospera Place box office or by phone at 250-762-5050.