Canada, Sweden to face off in world final
- Author: Jo Lloyd May 21, 2017,
May 21, 2017, 0:58
Canada, the two-time defending champions, hasn't won three straight gold medals at this event since the early 1950s. Sweden, with Avalanche forwards Gabe Landeskog and Carl Soderberg, was playing Finland, with Colorado winger Mikko Rantanen, in the second semfinal Saturday.
Nate MacKinnon drew the Canadians level and Ryan O'Reilly put them in front with three minutes left before Sean Couturier bagged another to seal the victory in style.
Russian Federation led 2-0 after two periods on the strength of goals from Nikita Gusev and Yevgeni Kuznetsov before Mark Scheifele - with MacKinnon getting the setup assist - scored only 17 seconds into the third to get Canada within hailing distance.
"My players fought very well, and at the end of the day it's just a game". "It was a pretty good clinic, for sure".
Five minutes into the closing period Canada's MacKinion cornered another shot into the Russian goal to tie the score at 2-2 and two minutes later O'Riley notched the score to 3-2. Russia's Artemi Panarin leads with 16 points, on four goals and 12 assists.
Canada will play the victor of the late semifinal between Finland and Sweden for gold.
"This is a big win for us but we're not done yet", said O'Reilly, who helped Canada win gold in Prague in 2015 and in Moscow a year ago.
"It's going to be the toughest game in the tournament", Lundqvist said of the teams' eighth final.
It was a classic match-up between Canada and Russian Federation and things were off to their normal start with Canada falling behind by two goals after two periods. Canada leads 5-2 overall.
Scheifele's goal came on the power play.
Both teams seemed to test each other in defense throughout the opening period, but reigning World Champions had an obvious advantage over the opponents showing a better record of shots-on-the-goal in the first 20-minutes before the squads retreated to the locker rooms ahead of the match's middle stretch.
Finland pushed hard in the final period but Joakim Nordstrom sealed it with six minutes remaining.
"Those were two really, really good hockey teams".
"I think in the (second) intermission, we focused on getting a spark", said O'Reilly. "That's what we gotta do tomorrow, too", Edler said.