Sweden clinches first in group with win over Slovakia, but loses Sandin


Swedish players, from left, Victor Soderstrom, Linus Nassen, Alexander Holtz, Jonathan Berggren celebrate winning the World U20 Ice Hockey Championships Group A match between Sweden and Finland in Trinec, Czech Republic, Thursday Dec. 26, 2019. (Vladimir Prycek/CTK via AP)

TRINEC — Sweden clinched first in Group A with a 6-2 blowout of Slovakia on Tuesday and its 52nd consecutive win in preliminary-round play at the world juniors.

However, Sweden may have suffered a big blow when defenceman Rasmus Sandin hurt his arm. The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect left the ice after taking a stick to the arm during the third period.

Alexander Holtz, with two, Albin Eriksson, Philip Broberg, Oskar Back and Samuel Fagemo scored for Sweden.

Kristian Kovacik and Robert Dzugan replied for Slovakia, which also heads to the quarterfinals after finishing fourth in Group A.

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