SUN Hockey Pool

Flames' Backlund set to bet on Swedes

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:36 AM ET

Mikael Backlund is almost alone representing Sweden in the Calgary Flames dressing room.

It’s not stopping him from looking for bets on Friday night’s world junior hockey championship clash between Sweden and Canada.

“I don’t know how much they believe in their team,” the rookie centre said with a few Canadians within earshot.

“I’m pretty sure some of the guys will come up with a bet. I’m just waiting to see what they’ll put up.

“I’m gonna wait a little bit. If no one comes up, I’ll have to go to them. I think Brent (Sutter, the team’s head coach) will come to me.”

Sutter won a bet with Ales Kotalik, thanks to Canada’s win over the Czech Republic at the tournament in Buffalo.

Both Canada and Sweden have won all three games to start the tournament, so the victor will finish atop Pool B and earn a bye in the medal round.

Canada’s entry has been dominating, but the Swedes have a strong team, too, coming off a 6-3 win Thursday over the Czech Republic.

“It’ll be a big game,” Backlund said. “It’s tough for Sweden to have to play back-to-back days, but we did it my first year and beat Canada the second day.

“Don’t you remember that?”

“Not really” was the reply from the proudly Canadian reporter, who did ask what happened in the final that year — knowing full well Canada beat Backlund and the Swedes 3-2 in overtime to win the 2008 gold.

“Terrible goal. We were all over them the last period and overtime,” Backlund replied.


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