Skip to main content
The Official Site of the New Jersey Devils

Finland takes gold at 2011 Worlds

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils
Anssi Salmela and Team Finland topped Russia in the semis, then beat out Sweden for their first world gold since 1995.

Anssi Salmela and Team Finland were golden on Sunday, blowing out Sweden, 6-1, to win the 2011 IIHF World Championship in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Magnus Paajarvi gave the Swedes a 1-0 lead in the second period before Finland responded with six unanswered tallies, including five in the third period.

Salmela recorded an assist and finished the tournament with a goal and two helpers in nine games.

It's the second world title for the Finns, who last claimed gold in 1995 by defeating Sweden in Stockholm.

Mattias Tedenby contributed a goal and two assists in nine appearances for the Swedes.

llya Kovalchuk had two goals in Russia's 7-4 loss to the Czech Republic in Sunday's bronze medal game.

Kovalchuk's second of the game had Russia ahead 3-2 after the first. The Czechs struck for three straight goals in the second before adding two more in the third.

Kovalchuk was Russia's leading scorer in the tournament with eight points (three goals, five assists) in nine games, and was named one of the top three Russian performers by tournament coaches. He scored the game-winning goal in Russia's 2-1 quarterfinal victory over Canada.

Patrik Elias' nine points (four goals, five assists) in nine games tied him for third on the bronze-winning Czech Republic.

Travis Zajac had a goal and two assists in seven games for Canada. Nick Palmieri tallied two goals and an assist in six games for the U.S., which also got an assist from Mark Fayne in four appearances.

Sunday, May 15
Bronze medal game: Czech Republic 7, Russia 4Kovalchuk 2g
Gold medal game: Finland 6, Sweden 1Salmela, 1a

In Friday's semifinal action, two goals from Elias weren't enough for the Czechs, which dropped a 5-2 decision to Sweden.

Finland dumped Russia, 3-0, in the other semifinal contest.

Friday, May 13
Sweden 5, Czech Republic 2 – Elias, 2g; Tedenby, 1a
Finland 3, Russia 0

The quarterfinals opened Wednesday, with the Czech Republic's 4-0 win over the United States.

Jagr's hat trick lifted the Czechs into their matchup with Sweden, which beat Germany, 5-2.

Wednesday, May 11
Czech Republic 4, USA 0 – Elias, 2 SOG
Sweden 5, Germany 2

Thursday, May 12
Finland 4, Norway 1 – Salmela, 4 SOG
Russia 2, Canada 1 – Kovalchuk, GWG

Qualification round
The qualification round began on Thursday, May 5, when Russia edged Denmark, 4-3.

Jordan Eberle and Rick Nash scored shootout goals on Friday, when Canada topped the U.S., 4-3. Finland beat Germany, 5-4.

In Friday's late action, Elias had a goal and two assists for the Czech Republic, which defeated Slovakia, 3-2. Sweden routed France by a count of 4-0.

Here's a look at qualification-round games involving Devils players:

Thursday, May 5
2:15 p.m. ET
Russia 4, Denmark 3 – Kovalchuk, 4 SOG

Friday, May 6
10:15 a.m. ET
Canada 4, USA 3 SO – Zajac, 1 SOG
Finland 5, Germany 4

2:15 p.m. ET
Czech Republic 3, Slovakia 2 – Elias 1g-2a
Sweden 4, France 0

Elias tallied a goal and two assists for the Czechs in the preliminary round.
Saturday, May 7
10:15 a.m. ET
Canada 3, Norway 2

2:15 p.m. ET
Finland 2, Slovakia 1 – Salmela, 1a (4 SOG)
USA 3, France 2

Sunday, May 8
10:15 a.m. ET
Czech Republic 3, Russia 2 – Elias, 2 SOG; Kovalchuk, 1 SOG
Sweden 2, Switzerland 0 – Tedenby, 2 SOG

Monday, May 9
10:15 a.m. ET
Finland 3, Russia 2 SOKovalchuk, 4 SOG
Switzerland 5, USA 3Watch highlights

2:15 p.m. ET
Czech Republic 5, Germany 2 – Elias, 1g
Canada 3, Sweden 2Tedenby, 1g

Preliminary round
With five assists in three games, Kovalchuk was Russia's leading scorer in the preliminary round, tied for third overall. The tournament got underway Friday, April 29, in Bratislava and Kosice.

Elias, Nick Palmieri (U.S.) and Travis Zajac each had three points in three preliminary-round games. Elias and Zajac registered a goal and two assists, while Palmieri notched two goals and an assist. Salmela (Finland) had one goal; Mark Fayne (USA) and Mattias Tedenby (Sweden) each had an assist.

Kovalchuk and Team Russia opened the preliminaries with a 2-0 loss to Germany. In other opening day action, Zajac and Team Canada topped Belarus, 4-1. Elias, Kovalchuk and Zajac are serving as alternate captains.

Palmieri and Fayne each had an assist Saturday, when the U.S. beat Austria, 5-1. Salmela recorded five shots on goal as Finland outdueled Denmark by the same 5-1 score.

On Saturday afternoon, Elias had a goal and an assist for the Czech Republic, which dumped Latvia, 4-2. In the other afternoon contest, Tedenby registered two shots in Sweden's 5-4 shootout loss to Norway.

Kovalchuk had two assists in Russia's 6-4 win over Slovenia on Sunday. In afternoon action, Zajac had a goal and three shots as Canada routed France, 9-1.

Palmieri scored twice Monday in Team USA's 4-2 win over Norway to clinch a spot in the qualification round. Elias added an assist in the Czech Republic's 6-0 thrashing of Denmark.

Zajac had two assists Tuesday and set up Alex Pietrangelo's overtime winner as Canada edged Switzerland, 4-3, to secure first place in Group B. Kovalchuk had three assists and five shots on goal in Russia's 4-3 victory over Slovakia. The Russians clinched second place in Group A.

Tedenby had an assist in Sweden's 6-2 rout of the United States on Wednesday. Sweden finished first in Group C. Salmela had the lone goal in Finland's 2-1 loss to the Czech Republic.

Preliminary round results involving Devils players:

Friday, April 29
10:15 a.m. ET
Germany 2, Russia 0 (Group A)Kovalchuk, 1 SOG

2:15 p.m. ET
Canada 4, Belarus 1 (Group B)

Saturday, April 30
10:15 a.m ET
Finland 5, Denmark 1 (Group D) – Salmela, 5 SOG
USA 5, Austria 1 (Group C) – Fayne, 1a; Palmieri, 1a

2:15 p.m. ET
Czech Republic 4, Latvia 2 (Group D) – Elias, 1g-1a
Norway 5, Sweden 4 SO (Group C) Tedenby, 2 SOG

Sunday, May 1
10:15 a.m. ET
Russia 6, Slovenia 4 (Group A) – Kovalchuk, 2a
Canada 9, France 1 (Group B) – Zajac, 1g (3 SOG)

Monday, May 2
10:15 a.m. ET
USA 4, Norway 2 (Group C) – Palmieri, 2g [Video]
Czech Republic 6, Denmark 0 (Group D) – Elias, 1a

2:15 p.m. ET
Finland 3, Latvia 2 SO (Group D) – Salmela, 2 SOG
Sweden 3, Austria 0 (Group C)

Tuesday, May 3
10:15 a.m. ET
Canada 4, Switzerland 3 OT (Group B) – Zajac, 2a

2:15 p.m. ET
Russia 4, Slovakia 3 (Group A) Kovalchuk, 3a (5 SOG)

Wednesday, May 4
2:15 p.m. ET
Czech Republic 2, Finland 1 (Group D) – Salmela, 1g 
Sweden 6, USA 2 (Group C) – Tedenby 1a; Palmieri 2 SOG

View More