BUFFALO, N.Y. — Lias Andersson was so frustrated with Sweden's second-place finish at the world junior hockey championship that he threw his silver medal into the crowd.
Andersson had six goals and an assist at the tournament but was held off the scoresheet in Canada's 3-1 win over Sweden on Friday in the world juniors finale. Even after a Swedish official got the medal back from a fan the team captain said to give it away.
"I don't want it," said Andersson. "The guy in the stands wanted it more than me, so I gave it to him. I'm just going to have it home in some box or whatever so he wanted it more than me."
The fan, wearing a Rochester Americans jersey, put the medal around his neck and showed it off to his neighbours sitting near the Swedish bench at KeyBank Center, home of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres. The fan then removed the Rochester jersey to reveal a USA hockey jersey, and then under that, a Swedish jersey.
Andersson also lost in the finale of the Ivan Hlinka tournament and the world under-18 championship in 2015-16. Since he said he has no use for those medals, he saw no need to add to his collection.
"I have a silver medal from the U-18 Worlds and I haven't checked it in two years since I lost last time so I won't regret it," said Andersson.
The New York Rangers prospect has been a fixture of Sweden's development teams over the past four years and was disappointed that he and his teammates were being sent home with another second-place medal.
"We feel sorry for the group, the Swedish people," said Andersson. "I think we deserved this, it's a great tournament. We lost the final in U-18 Worlds, we lost the final in Ivan Hlinka. We lost the semis in the Under-17 so this group has been through a lot and this was kind of our last chance so this sucks."
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John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the fan was handed a Swedish jersey.