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Flyers: Farabee Dependable, Ersson Earns Bronze at 2024 IIHF Worlds

Sam Ersson in goal for Sweden at the 2024 IIHF World Championships (Photo Credit: Darko Vojinovic/Associated Press)
(Photo Credit: Darko Vojinovic/Associated Press)

It’s not the quantity of representation for the Philadelphia Flyers at the 2024 IIHF World Championships; just two players represented the franchise in the tournament. It’s the quality.

Joel Farabee represented the United States, and Sam Ersson minded the net for Sweden amongst a decorated mix of NHL stars and top prospects.

Ersson served as the backup goaltender to Filip Gustavsson. Farabee formed a line with former teammate Kevin Hayes, in addition to a trade target the entire Flyers fanbase is committed to, Trevor Zegras. The United States and Sweden yielded different results and experiences at the 2024 IIHF World Championships throughout Group Play and Medal Rounds.

Joel Farabee

In the 2024 IIHF World Championship Quarter-Finals, the United States lost to the eventual gold medal winners, Czechia. Pavel Zacha scored the lone goal in a 1-0 shutout. Lukas Dostal preserved the shutout.

The United States finished (5-1-1) in Group B. They only trailed Sweden.

Farabee paid a small contribution toward a berth into the tournament bracket. In seven games throughout Group Play, Farabee notched an assist in a 5-4 overtime loss to Slovakia and was awarded the empty net goal at the end of a 6-3 win versus Latvia. His empty net opportunity counted as a shorthanded goal.

“I’ve never played in an atmosphere like this, it’s pretty cool.” – Joel Farabee; 5/13/2024

In his finest moment, Farabee combined with Zegras for a successful playmaking stint. Farabee accepted a pass from Zegras, then pinpointed a lead pass to Shane Pinto from the blue line as he crashed the crease in stride. Consistently, Farabee played on the third line during Group Play, totaling two points (1G, 1A) with a +2 rating and averaging over 16:00 of ice time.

During the shutout loss in the 2024 IIHF World Championship Quarter-Finals, Farabee took two shots on goal in 14:34. After elimination, the United States (5-2-1) placed fifth in the overall standings.

Farabee, in the finer details, didn’t play poorly. He worked the dirty areas against Czechia, almost helping the United States back into the game with his presence at the crease. Throughout the 2024 IIHF World Championships, Farabee played a controlled and responsible game. The point production won’t impress, but consider that he contributed as much or more than his linemates, Zegras (1G, 1A, -4) and Hayes (1G, -1).

Sam Ersson

Sweden had a different experience from the United States. As stated earlier, they finished ahead in Group B, leading with an undefeated record (7-0-0) behind Gustavsson and Ersson. The United States lost to Sweden, 5-2, to begin Group Play.

Ersson took the lighter load during Group Play. Gustavsson played four games, while Ersson took on three. Facing GermanyKazakhstan, and France, Ersson posted a 3-0-0 record with a 92.5%SV and a 1.0GAA. The only teams to score more than a goal against Sweden in Group Play were the United States and Latvia, both against Gustavsson.

Gustavsson earned the start for Sweden in the 2024 IIHF World Championship Quarter-Finals against Finland, outlasting Emil Larmi after Joel Eriksson Ek scored the overtime game-winner, 2-1. Next, in the 2024 IIHF World Championship Semi-Finals, Sweden matched up against Czechia.

Gustavsson started versus Czechia. After allowing five goals in 29:03, Ersson relieved the starter. Ersson allowed two more goals, saving 4/6 in 28:02. Before Ersson entered, Sweden trailed 5-2. The final favored the eventual gold medal winners, 7-3.

Czechia dashed all hope for Sweden before shutting out Switzerland, 2-0, to win the gold medal. Instead, Sweden took on Canada to win the bronze medal, 4-2. Ersson didn’t start after Gustavsson struggled mightily versus Czechia. However, fatigue didn’t factor into the next performance from Gustavsson, who stopped 20/22. Sweden (9-1-0) didn’t take home the hardware they sought to achieve but didn’t leave empty-handed either.

Ersson finished without a blemish on his record at the 2024 IIHF World Championships. It’s an encouraging sign for the future starter in Philadelphia.

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