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Rivals Finland, Sweden seek gold-medal berth

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

Sean McCullen - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Rivals Finland, Sweden seek gold-medal berth
Finland vs. Sweden

FINLAND vs. SWEDEN

When: Friday, 7 a.m. ET (NBCSN, TSN)

Where: Bolshoy Ice Dome

What's at stake: The Scandinavian neighbors face off for a spot in the gold-medal game at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Finland got to this point by beating host Russia 3-1 in the quarterfinals Wednesday after finishing Group B play with a 2-0-1 record. Sweden is unbeaten, with goalie Henrik Lundqvist earning two shutout victories. The Swedes advanced to the semifinals with a 5-0 win against Slovenia on Wednesday.

The Finns and Swedes last played in the Olympics in the preliminary round at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, with Sweden winning 3-0. Sweden defeated Finland 3-2 in the gold-medal game at the 2006 Turin Olympics.

Finland: After winning bronze at the Vancouver Games, Teemu Selanne and the Finns have their sights set on their country's first gold medal in Olympic men's hockey and perhaps a chance for revenge against the United States, which routed Finland 6-1 in the semifinals four years ago.

But first things first: Finland must beat rival Sweden and the U.S. must top Canada before that rematch could happen.

Finland is confident despite its role as underdog among the four remaining teams, according to Selanne.

"When we came here, nobody believed in us and it doesn't matter," the Anaheim Ducks' 43-year-old right wing, playing in his sixth Olympics, said after the game against Russia. "Our team believes, and I always say the gap is not very big with these top teams. It is a good feeling."

Tuukka Rask likely will be in goal for Finland. The Boston Bruins goalie has started three of four games; he stopped 37 of 38 shots he faced against Russia.

The Finns have outscored their opponents 18-8. Their loss came against Canada, 2-1 in overtime Sunday in what amounted to the Group B championship game.

Finland is without 18-year-old center Aleksander Barkov, who was injured in the preliminary round against Norway.

Sweden: The Swedes have outscored their Sochi opponents 15-5, but the games have been closer than the final scores would indicate. Sweden pulled away from Slovenia with four goals in the third period Wednesday after going to the second intermission clinging to a 1-0 lead.

Who scored in the third is more important than how many they scored. Daniel Sedin scored his first goal in 2014 in the quarterfinal win; he had not scored since Dec. 30, when the Philadelphia Flyers beat his Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in an NHL shootout.

"I lost count," Sedin said about his goal-scoring drought, which spanned 22 games in the NHL and at the Olympics, according to the Detroit Free Press. "It was a good feeling. It's my job to score. It's nice to get it over."

Carl Hagelin of the New York Rangers scored his first two goals of the tournament in the third period.

Lundqvist stopped 19 shots against Slovenia to raise his save percentage to .948.

Sweden is without captain Henrik Zetterberg, who sustained a herniated disk in the preliminary round against the Czech Republic.

Sweden is aiming for its second gold medal in the five Olympics that have included NHL players; it won gold at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.

What's next: The winner will advance to the gold-medal game scheduled for 7 a.m. ET Sunday. The loser will play for bronze Saturday at 10 a.m. ET.

Finland
# Forwards Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
50 J. Aaltonen 6'0" 196 6/4/1985 Ii, FIN
16 A. Barkov FLA 6'2" 205 9/2/1995 Tampere, FIN
64 M. Granlund MIN 5'10" 186 2/26/1992 Oulu, FIN
26 J. Immonen 6'0" 198 4/19/1982 Rantasalmi, FIN
36 J. Jokinen PIT 5'11" 198 4/1/1983 Kalajoki, FIN
12 O. Jokinen WPG 6'2" 210 12/5/1978 Kuopio, FIN
71 L. Komarov 5'10" 187 1/23/1987 Narva, EST
27 P. Kontiola 6'0" 205 10/4/1984 Seinajoki, FIN
28 L. Korpikoski PHX 6'1" 205 7/28/1986 Turku, FIN
21 J. Lehterä 6'1" 201 12/23/1987 Helsinki, FIN
41 A. Pihlström 5'11" 181 10/22/1984 Vantaa, FIN
15 T. Ruutu CAR 6'0" 205 2/16/1983 Vantaa, FIN
23 S. Salminen 5'10" 165 5/31/1988 Pori, FIN
8 T. Selänne ANA 6'0" 209 7/3/1970 Helsinki, FIN
# Defense Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
5 L. Kukkonen 6'0" 187 9/18/1981 Oulu, FIN
38 J. Hietanen 5'10" 187 6/14/1985 Hämeenlinna, FIN
18 S. Lepistö 6'1" 194 10/17/1984 Espoo, FIN
3 O. Määttä PIT 6'2" 206 8/22/1994 Jyväskylä, FIN
6 S. Salo TBL 6'3" 215 9/2/1974 Turku, FIN
44 K. Timonen PHI 5'10" 194 3/18/1975 Kuopio, FIN
4 O. Väänänen 6'4" 216 8/18/1980 Vantaa, FIN
45 S. Vatanen ANA 5'10" 183 6/3/1991 Jyväskylä, FIN
# Goalies Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
32 K. Lehtonen DAL 6'4" 210 11/16/1983 Helsinki, FIN
31 A. Niemi SJS 6'2" 210 8/29/1983 Vantaa, FIN
40 T. Rask BOS 6'2" 185 3/10/1987 Savonlinna, FIN
Sweden
# Forwards Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
11 D. Alfredsson DET 5'11" 203 12/11/1972 Gothenburg, SWE
19 N. Bäckström WSH 6'1" 208 11/23/1987 Gävle, SWE
14 P. Berglund STL 6'3" 217 6/2/1988 Västerås, SWE
42 J. Ericsson 6'2" 212 2/22/1980 Skellefteå, SWE
21 L. Eriksson BOS 6'2" 196 7/17/1985 Goteborg, SWE
62 C. Hagelin NYR 5'11" 186 8/23/1988 Sodertalje, SWE
90 M. Johansson WSH 6'1" 205 10/6/1990 Landskrona, SWE
16 M. Krüger CHI 6'0" 181 5/27/1990 Stockholm, SWE
92 G. Landeskog COL 6'1" 204 11/23/1992 Stockholm, SWE
41 G. Nyquist DET 5'11" 185 9/1/1989 Halmstad, SWE
22 D. Sedin VAN 6'1" 187 9/26/1980 Ornskoldsvik, SWE
18 J. Silfverberg ANA 6'1" 200 10/13/1990 Gävle, SWE
20 A. Steen STL 5'11" 212 3/1/1984 Winnipeg, MB
40 H. Zetterberg DET 5'11" 197 10/9/1980 Njurunda, SWE
# Defense Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
23 A. Edler VAN 6'3" 215 4/21/1986 Ostersund, SWE
3 O. Ekman-Larsson PHX 6'2" 190 7/17/1991 Karlskrona, SWE
52 J. Ericsson DET 6'4" 221 3/2/1984 Karlskrona, SWE
4 N. Hjalmarsson CHI 6'3" 207 6/6/1987 Eksjo, SWE
65 E. Karlsson OTT 6'0" 180 5/31/1990 Landsbro, SWE
55 N. Kronwall DET 6'0" 190 1/12/1981 Stockholm, SWE
27 J. Oduya CHI 6'0" 190 10/1/1981 Stockholm, SWE
7 H. Tallinder BUF 6'4" 209 1/10/1979 Stockholm, SWE
# Goalies Club HT WT DOB Birthplace
1 J. Enroth BUF 5'10" 166 6/25/1988 Stockholm, SWE
50 J. Gustavsson DET 6'3" 192 10/24/1984 Danderyd, SWE
30 H. Lundqvist NYR 6'1" 188 3/2/1982 Are, SWE