Sens trio fuels Sweden's triumph in worlds opener
Silfverberg notches goal, Alfredsson picks up two assists as Tre Kronor sinks Norway
The Swedish Sens are off to a winning start.
Jakob Silfverberg opened the scoring and captain Daniel Alfredsson picked up a pair of assists as Sweden opened the 2012 IIHF world hockey championship by dumping Norway 3-1 in front of 7,770 spectators at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm.
The 21-year-old Silfverberg, one of Ottawa's top forward prospects, broke a scoreless tie at the 16:48 mark of the opening period, taking a feed from Senators teammate and Norris Trophy finalist Erik Karlsson in the right faceoff circle and whipping it past Norway goaltender Lars Haugen.
For Silfverberg, who led Brynas IF to the Swedish Elitserien crown this season and was the league's regular-season and playoff MVP, it was his first goal at the world championship. He made his debut in the event a year ago in Slovakia, when Norway stunned Sweden 5-4 in the tournament opener.
Underdog Norway made it interesting again early in the second period, tying the score at the 0:20 mark when Mads Hadsen found the back of the net. But Marcus Kruger of the Chicago Blackhawks put the Tre Kronor ahead to stay just 2:09 later. Loui Eriksson of the Dallas Stars added some insurance 4:18 into the third.
Alfredsson drew assists on the final two Sweden goals. Karlsson totalled six shots for the tournament co-hosts, who finished with a wide 44-20 edge in shots on goal.
Earlier in the day in Stockholm, Senators forward Milan Michalek and the Czech Republic blanked Denmark 2-0. At Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, the United States rolled past Sens forward Stephane Da Costa and France 7-2. Canada, meanwhile, nipped Slovakia 3-2 in its worlds opener in the Finnish capital.
The Swedes and Czechs face off Saturday in Stockholm (2:15 p.m. ET), while Senators forward Kaspars Daugavins and Latvia see their first action against Russia (10:15 a.m. ET). All games in the tournament are being streamed live for free on the IIHF's YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/icehockey).