Canada and Sweden have had some memorable battles during international play and Friday’s semifinal showdown at the 2008 IIHF World Championship was no different. With Henrik Lundqvist and Pascal Leclaire in net this had the potential to be a tight low scoring battle……not so fast.
Dany Heatley got Canada on the board first with a power play goal, but Sweden responded with a goal to tie at 1 after the 1st period.
In the 2nd period, Sweden took a 2-1 lead on a goal by Niclas Wallin, then Ryan Getzlaf answered for Canada on the power play to tie the game at 2. This pattern continued as Canada once again grabbed a one goal lead at 3-2, but Sweden would not go away, tying the game at 3 on Anton Stralman’s 2nd tally of the game.
In the final 10 minutes of the second period, Team Canada finally found a way to get that all important two goal advantage. Rick Nash scored the go ahead goal, and then Mike Green delivered the dagger with 7 seconds to go in the period for Canada’s 3rd power play goal of the day.
Coyotes goalie Mikael Tellqvist came out of the bullpen to relieve Lundqvist at the start of the 3rd period and that gave the Swedes an energy boost. They would close the gap to one goal at 5-4 on a goal by Fredrik Warg, but they could not get the equalizer.
Canada will now go for gold on their home soil in a match-up of unbeaten teams with Russia.
Russia was able to do something Team USA could not, defeat a very capable Team Finland. The “Big Red Machine”, anchored by Evgeni Nabakov’s 2nd consecutive shutout, rolled over Niko Kapanen’s squad 4-0.
Sergei Fedorov scored the only goal they would need in the first period with assists coming from his Washington teammates, Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin. They will now look for their 1st World Championship since 1993, which is a long draught for a team that has been loaded with talent over that dry spell.
Russia will face Canada on Sunday in Quebec City for the Championship.
Sweden and Finland will renew their border war for the Bronze on Saturday.
Coyotes Notes -- Captain Shane Doan
and Ed Jovanovski were both held scoreless today.