The swedish coach Erik Vikström promised a physical game when Sweden entered the tournament against Japan. The swedes had a day off on monday, while Japan had faced Germany and earned a 6-2 victory. As promised, the intensity and physicality in the game was seen on the ice throughout the game that Japan won with 3-2 after two thrilling last periods.
The two keepers in the teams, #5 Ulf Nilsson in Sweden and #21 Shinobu Fukushima in Japan, both had a busy day on the ice and showed of some really qualified savings. Even though they both were great, the puck found the net five times. The #11 Rasmus Lundgren in Sweden fired off a sniper goal in the third period, that found Fukushimas right corner and changed the scoreboard to 3-2 Japan with a little more than 4 minutes remaining in final period. The swedes had some really good pressure on Japan in the final minutes of the game, but the japans could resist the swedish pressure and collect three more points. A six point score that could be enough for qualification to Paralympics in PyeongChang 2018.
Japan was missing the star defender #25 Eji Misawa that are suffering from a broken collarbone and won’t be able to play for a couple of months. During the national anthem after the game the #25 jersey was holded up by the teammates and a crying Eji Misawa watched and cheered on his Japan from the stands.
After the game the Japan headcoach, Kojin Nakakita, gave a comment about the injury:
”Hugh difference. We are losing our best defenseman. It has created a difficult situation for us.”
”We are hoping for him to be back to the paralympics” – Head coach Nakakita.
Sweden – Japan
Result: 2 – 3 (0-0, 1-2, 1-1)
Scorer: 0-1(PP), 19:17 #96, Masaharu Kumagai(Takahashi, Worie).
0-2, 26:53 #13 Mamoru Yoshikawa, (Worie).
1-2(PP), 29:10 #21 Marcus Holm(Lundgren, Kasperi).
1-3, 31:49 #32, Daisuke Uehara(Kumagai).
2-3, 35:49 #11 Rasmus Lundgren (Rakos)
Shots: 14 – 19
Penalty: (Sweden) 1:59, #3 Ingvarsson. 2 min, teeing.
3:43, #21 Holm. 2 min, teeing.
10:30, #11 Lundgren. 2 min, interference.
19:13, #21 Holm. 2 min, teeing.
24:14, #21 Holm. 2 min, holding.
(Japan) 8:12, #13 Yoshikawa. 2 min, teeing.
19:59, #2 Horie. 2 min, teeing.
22:19, #32 Uehara. 2 min, teeing
28:41, #24 Sudo. 2 min, holding.
32:12, #27 Annaka. 2 min, slashing.
41:21, #55 Takahashi. 2 min, hooking.
Best player: Sweden: #5 Ulf Nilsson
Japan: #32 Daisuke Uehara