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Swedish juniors claim hockey gold

Jenny Sundelin · 6 Jan 2012, 09:39

Published: 06 Jan 2012 09:39 GMT+01:00

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“Every person wearing a yellow shirt is a hero,” said coach Roger Rönnberg to news agency TT after the thriller game.

The Swedish junior team dominated the ice and was soon in the lead on goal attempts with 39, compared to Russia's four.

The Russians came to life in the third period, coming close to scoring. Luckily, Swedish goal tender Johan Gustafsson was quick off the mark and saved the day again.

However, it started to seem as the dream of winning the gold would remain a fantasy.

But Mika Zibanejad, an 18-year-old from Huddinge, in Stockholm, had other plans. He recently returned back to Stockholm team Djurgården after a season playing NHL hockey in Ottawa.

He had promised team mates that he would score - and he had every intention to keep that promise.

"He told me in the morning he was going to finish this game off," said team member, forward Jeremy Boyce Rotevall, to local paper Calgary News.

According to the paper, Zibanejad had reiterated the promise just before overtime.

Zibanejad's goal came in at 10.09 into sudden death overtime.

"You have to decide if you want to win this. In the morning, it was a joke. But now, it's not a joke anymore," he told the paper.

“I didn’t have time to think that much. I felt an enormous happiness when the puck hit the back of the net,” said Zibanejad to Sveriges Television (SVT).

Story continues below…

After a three decade wait - the impossible had finally happened.

“It is impossible to describe, it is a wonderful feeling,” said Zibanejad to SVT.

Jenny Sundelin (jcsundelin@yahoo.co.uk)

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Your comments about this article

11:07 January 6, 2012 by TimHorton
Of course I'm disappointed my Canadians didn't win, but I am very happy the Swedes did. Talk about hard work and fortitude against a tough Russian team! Sweden will be proud of this team! I am and I'm Canadian! Congratulations Team Sweden and to all Swedes!
11:32 January 6, 2012 by gabeltoon
CONGRATULATIONS SWEDEN. I wish i could have seen the game. I miss going to games at my local rink .when i say local its 35 mls away.Keep up the great work guys.
13:18 January 6, 2012 by Rick Methven
Having been up late after coming home from our Ice Rink watching LHC beat AIK, I decided not to stay up. I was however woken up just after 4am with a bout of cramp and switched on the TV in time to watch the 4th period. Both Sweden and the Russians played extremely well and young Mika's goal was sweet. Those young guys are so dedicated and work so hard they should be getting more Ice time than they do when playing in Sweden.
16:20 January 6, 2012 by KELLYSKI
Sweden, you should be proud of your boys. I was there, and you had 18,500 people cheering for your country. They deserved to win and it was great seeing that overtime goal and you would not believe the eruption when they scored. Way to go.
19:01 January 6, 2012 by Jaz258
I just wanted to congratulate your country on your gold medal victory in the 2011/2012 world Junior Hockey Tournament. Living in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, I am naturally a supporter of our national junior team. However, I am also a rebid fan fan of our Ottawa Senators of the NHL. One cannot think of the Senators without thinking of Daniel Alfredsson, who in my opinion is the greatest player in the history of our team. You have to understand how much the citizens of Ottawa love this Swedish born captain! We only hope the he remains in Ottawa when he retires as he has become an adopted son. We look forward to future seasons with Mika Zibanejad, Erik Karlsson, Anders Petersen, Frederic Claesson, Robin Lehner and Jakob Silferberg in our line-up. H
19:55 January 6, 2012 by Just_Kidding
Mika is born and raised in Sweden, from an Iranian dad and Finish mother. I am glad to mention this as an Iranian!
21:39 January 6, 2012 by Andrey Kiselev
Congratulations from Russia! And thanks a lot to all players for the very beautiful and exciting game! It's a brilliant of ice hockey. I really recommend to watch it.
00:48 January 7, 2012 by Smokebox
Good job guys.
05:53 January 7, 2012 by Whiteroots
Congratulations to the 2012 Swedish World Junior champions! Watched all the games and Sweden was terrific, extremely skilled players and loved their tenaciousness. I am Canadian with Swedish ancestry and of course wanted Cda to win, however, the next best would be Sweden and they were the Gold Players this time and I was absoulutely delighted! It was a pleasure to watch the Swedes play. Linda Holmberg, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
17:23 January 9, 2012 by geotraveler
Here are more photos of the champions when they arrived in Stockholm! - http://blogs.sweden.se/photo/2012/01/08/welcoming-the-world-junior-hockey-champions/
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