Swedish goaltender Mathias Israelsson pounces on a loose puck during his team's 2-0 victory over Canada West on Nov.8 at the World Junior A Hockey Challenge at the Langley Events Centre. The victory

WJAC: Sweden through to semifinals

Swedish goaltenders unbeatable, posting back-to-back shutouts at World Junior A Hockey Challenge

The masked men of Sweden have stolen the show so far at the World Junior A Hockey Challenge.

For the second straight night, not a single puck got past the Swedish netminders at the Langley Events Centre.

On Monday, Oscar Dansk stopped 44 shots in a 1-0 victory over the United States.

And on Tuesday, it was Mathias Israelsson’s turn as he stopped all 37 shots he faced in a 2-0 victory over Canada West.

Erik Karlson scored on the power play eight minutes into Tuesday’s game and Jesper Pettersson added the insurance goal on another man advantage early in the third.

Sean Maguire was solid in goal for Canada West, stopping 28 of the 30 shots fired his way.

The 2-0 start clinched top spot for Sweden in Pool A and books them a spot in one of Friday’s semifinal games.

Canada West and the United States play on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. to decide second place in the pool. Both will advance to the quarter-finals on Thursday.

In Pool B, nothing has been resolved through the first two days.

Canada East was 1-0 prior to Tuesday’s game with Russia, while the Russians were 0-1. The Czech Republic split its two preliminary games, losing to Canada East 5-0 on Monday, but bouncing back to defeat Russia 4-3 on Tuesday.

In that game, Radim Matus scored once and added two assists and Martin Prochazka netted the winner midway through the third period.

The line of Matus, Petr Koblasa and Erik Nemec combined for seven points for the Czech Republic – Koblasa and Nemec each added a goal and assist to go along with Matus’ three points – and goaltender Patrik Polivka made 40 saves to earn the win.

Alexei Filippov, Arseni Khatsei and Alexei Kudreman scored for the Russians, who fought back from a two-goal deficit early in the second period to tie the game before Prochazka’s winner.

Canada East and Russia play on Wednesday (Nov. 9) at 4 p.m.

The winner of the pool advances directly to Friday’s semifinals, while the other two teams play quarter-final matches against Canada West and the U.S.

The bronze medal game is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and the gold medal match will be played Sunday at 5 p.m.

Check www.langleytimes.com for more from the tournament.

Surrey North Delta Leader

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