Photo credit:Photo from Anders Marshall/Euro
Leafs’ Timothy Liljegren makes big impact alongside Rasmus Sandin in World Championship debut for Sweden
By Steven Ellis9 months ago
That was quite the tournament debut.
Timothy Liljegren made his Swedish men’s national team debut at the 2023 World Championship on Thursday, helping Sweden to a big 7-1 win over Hungary.
Liljegren was one of the best players in the contest, setting up Dennis Everberg and Jonatan Berggren with goals for a two-assist effort. His first assist was brilliant, skating around the net to find Everberg standing alone in close for the 3-1 goal.
Then, at 37:37 – which was quite fitting – he got the puck to Lucas Raymond, who found his Detroit Red Wings teammate Berggren for the 5-1 goal. It marked an impressive game for Liljegren, who gave the Swedish blueline some good speed and skill they were missing throughout the tournament.
It was also great to see him lined up beside his good buddy, former Leafs defenseman Rasmus Sandin. The two defenders made up the top pairing for the Swedes, with Sandin leading the way with 20:57 in ice time. Liljegren played 17:17, with the team electing to sit him more in the third period as the game was already out of reach.
Sweden sits second in Group A with 11 points, one behind the United States. The Swedes beat Finland in the shootout over the weekend, which took one crucial point away. Sweden looks in full control and should have no issue qualifying for the playoffs with three games left to go in the preliminary round.
Sweden will play France next on Saturday afternoon before meeting with Denmark on Monday. Their game against the United States on May 23 will likely determine who wins the group and gets preferential seeding for the playoff round. And by then, the Swedes should have William Nylander in the lineup. Nylander hasn’t officially been registered yet, but could be ready to go in time for the game against France.
The Leafs have one other affiliated player in the tournament, Switzerland’s Fabrice Herzog. The Leafs drafted him in the fifth round in 2013 and even played five games with the Toronto Marlies in 2013-14. The team still holds the 28-year-old’s rights, but given he’s signed in Switzerland next year, and never has shown any intentions of coming over, it’s safe to say there’s nothing really there.
In the other early afternoon game, Czechia came back from a 2-0 deficit over Slovenia to win 6-2. Dominik Kubalik took the tournament scoring lead thanks to a four-point effort, giving him 10 in the tournament so far.
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