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Sweden can’t Beat Russian Goal Tending in Bronze Medal Loss

MONTREAL — For the 10th straight year, Sweden went unbeaten in the preliminary round of the world junior championship. But for the second straight year, the team is going home empty-handed.

Blame goaltending. Not Sweden’s, but its opponents. After Canada’s Carter Hart came on in relief and shut out Sweden in the semifinal, Russia’s Ilya Samsonov stopped 38 of 39 saves in a 2-1 overtime win against Sweden in the bronze-medal game on Thursday.

“That was the most outstanding game by him,” said Russia’s Mikhail Sergachyov. “He made the craziest saves. It’s pretty amazing to see.”

Samsonov, whom the Washington Capitals drafted 22nd overall in 2015, finished the tournament with a 2.11 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage.

“Samsonov is a great goalie,” said Sweden’s Rasmus Asplund. “He can win matches for Russia, like he did today. We had a lot of chances, but we couldn’t convert them. He’s amazing. He’s going to be in the NHL pretty soon, I think.”

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