Alvesta’s Zion Nybeck took part in making history
Sunday the 28th of April is a historical date for Sweden.
Its the day the Swedish U-18s for the first time won the hockey world championship. Within the squad responsible for that feat you will find Alvestas very own Zion Nybeck.
16-year-old Zion Nybeck, whom normally plays for HV71, now has a gold medal in his collection.
– Its been amazing, so cool. We were underdogs throughout the entire tournament, Nybeck tells Mosaik.
The forward explains that the goal was clear for the entire team, however, to be standing there with the gold medal hanging around their necks seemed inconceivable prior to the tournament.
- You always believed it, but it wasnt really where your mind was at. Meanwhile we knew we could beat all the teams like we had in the past.
Sweden beat the Czechs in the quarterfinals 4-2, in which Nybeck was responsible for an assist. In the semis Sweden took on Canada and eventually won 4-3, with Russia waiting in the final.
The final was not for the faint of heart.
Sweden jumped out to a 2-0 lead, the Russians flipped the scripted and made it 3-2. Swedens Lucas Raymond managed to tie the game and ensure the game went to sudden death. The same Raymond decided the game in overtime when he managed to shoot the game winner, making it 4-3.
- It was an awesome feeling, there was a big turnout and you could feel the energy of the crowd, says Nybeck.
Sweden became world champions on their home turf. The tournament was played in Örnsköldsvik and Umeå (with the final being played in Övik). Something that seemed to fit the Alvesta product.
Nybeck, whos a productive player, were responsible for two goals and three assists in seven games.
- I think we got better each game, it was nice and felt good.
The joy on the ice was apparent after Lucas Raymond had brought the gold to Sweden for the first time. However, there wasnt much celebrating in Ångermanland after the swedes victory.
- We were in the locker room and then we had dinner together. Afterwards we just hung around the hotel, everything was closed so we ended up celebrating at the hotel with the team.
The U-18 world championship was first played in 1999.
Sweden has won silver five times and bronze four times prior to the gold.
USA has a dominating lead with ten gold medals, the Americans ended up with the bronze this time around. Even our neighbour Finland have historically preformed well in the tournament. Our eastern neighbours have won it all four times, last year they beat the US in the final.