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Finland Earns Comeback Victory Over Switzerland

Mikko Rantanen scored the game-tying goal for the Finns

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab / ColoradoAvalanche.com

There would be no overtime upset for the second day in a row for the Swiss.

This time it was Finland that staged the two-goal comeback to force the extra period, and Valtteri Filppula of the Philadelphia Flyers scored the winner in OT in the 3-2 defeat of Team Switzerland at the 2017 IIHF World Championship on Sunday at AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France.

Switzerland had defeated No. 1-ranked Canada 3-2 in overtime on Saturday, earning only its third victory in 30 all-time games against the Canadians at Worlds.

Colorado Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen helped complete the Finnish comeback with the game-tying goal 7:40 into the third period during a power play. He scored on a deflection in front after a one-timer from Ville Lajunen at the blue line.

Filppula ended the contest 2:24 into overtime after he drove to the crease and fired a shot that went five hole on goaltender Leonardo Genoni.

Switzerland (2-2-2-0) jumped out to a 2-0 lead 10:30 into the first period before Finland got on the board with a power-play tally with 59 seconds before the initial intermission. The Swiss held a 13-4 shot advantage after the opening 20 minutes, but the Finns bounced back better in the middle stanza with a 13-8 edge in pucks on net.

Watch: Youtube Video

Rantanen played 15:07 and finished with a minus-2 rating while on a line with Filppula and Sebastian Aho of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Next up for Finland (2-2-1-1) is Group B-leader Canada on Tuesday in its final game of the preliminary round. Finland currently holds the fourth and last qualifying spot for the quarterfinals in the group with 11 points, three more than fifth-place Norway.

Norway has games remaining against Canada and Belarus, but Finland holds the tiebreaker between the two squads after its 3-2 overtime win over Norway on Saturday.

 

UNITED STATES (6) VS. SLOVAKIA (1)

Team USA continued its dominating performance at the World Championship on Sunday with a 6-1 victory over Slovakia at LANXESS Arena in Cologne, Germany.

The Americans (5-0-0-1) have now won five games in a row after dropping their opener to Germany, which includes outscoring their opponents 25-9 in those contests.

They took over the top spot in Group A with 15 points, one ahead of Russia, which had Sunday off and has played one fewer game. That sets up a big matchup on Tuesday when the U.S. closes the preliminary round against the Russians, who will be playing the second half of a back-to-back.

The Calgary Flames' Johnny Gaudreau led the way in the contest against Slovakia with two goals and one assist for the United States, which broke open the game with three markers in the second period and two more in the third.

The Avalanche's J.T. Compher had one shot in 10:24 of ice time. He was on the fourth line with Andrew Copp (Winnipeg Jets) and Christian Dvorak (Arizona Coyotes).

Martin Gernat scored the only goal for Slovakia (0-1-2-3), which was eliminated from advancing to the quarterfinals with the loss.

Watch: Youtube Video

 

SWEDEN (4) VS. DENMARK (2)

Sweden jumped out to a three-goal lead and held off Denmark's rally to win 4-2 at LANXESS Arena in Cologne, Germany, on Sunday.

The Swedes were up 3-0 after the first 40 minutes of play before the Danes (0-2-0-4) tallied twice in the third period to get within one with 4:43 remaining. Sweden wouldn't allow the score to get any closer as Nicklas Backstrom tallied on the power play with 2:29 left to give the Scandinavian powerhouse a little more breathing room.

It was the first game of the tournament for Sweden goaltender Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers and Backstrom of the Washington Capitals. Both players went over to Europe after their respective NHL squads lost in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last week. Lundqvist made 19 saves while Backstrom also added an assist to his marker.

Watch: Youtube Video

Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog had one shot and two penalty minutes in 17:12 of ice time while on the top line with the Carolina Hurricanes' Elias Lindholm and Victor Rask.

Avs forward Carl Soderberg played 10:18 and had a minus-1 rating while on a combo with former Colorado forward Dennis Everberg and William Karlsson of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

After a slow start to the tournament, Sweden has found its footing with three straight wins and is third in Group A with 13 points. The Swedes close preliminary play on Tuesday against Slovakia.

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