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WHC UPDATE: Five Flyers, Canada to play for gold

Sweden downs Finland, 4-1, to set up gold medal Sunday

by @NHL

Trailing 2-0 after 40 minutes of play, the Canadians tallied four unanswered goals to beat Russia by a 4-2 score in the first semifinal of the 2017 IIHF World Championships in Cologne, Germany.

After Canada scored an early power-play goal in the third period to get within one, Flyers rookie Travis Konecny made a beautiful set up pass into the slot to Nathan MacKinnon, who scored the equalizer with just under five minutes to go in the game.

Konecny now has eight points, all of them assists, in the tournament thus far which is tied for the team lead in helpers (with MacKinnon) and is also tied for third among all players in the tournament.

Canada fired 38 shots on net compared to 28 from Russia, but also out-shot the Russians by a 19 to 5 margin in the third period to rally.

Sean Couturier recorded his first goal of the tournament when he sealed the victory for Canada with an empty-netter with 1:07 left in the game to end Russia's hopes of a late tie.

Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn were held scoreless, but all recorded two shots on net with Giroux leading the way with three shots.

Canada will now play for gold for the third consecutive year and haven't won three straight golds at the World Championships since 1950-52 and are looking to become the first country to win three straight since the Czech Republic in 1999 to 2001.

Sweden is coming off a dominant performance with a 4-1 win over their rival, Finland, in the second semifinal game of the day. 

The Swedes outshot Finland, 41-23, and received more offense from Toronto's William Nylander, who added a goal and an assist, and Washington's Nicklas Backstrom, who had two helpers, while goaltender Henrik Lundqvist stopped 22 of 23 shots for the win.

Sweden is looking for their 10th gold at Worlds and first since 2013.

The gold medal game is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. ET on Sunday and can be viewed on the NHL Network.

The losses send Russia's Ivan Provorov and Finland's Valtteri Filppula to the bronze medal game, which is slated for Sunday morning (10:15 a.m. ET, NHL Network). 

Provorov logged 13:34 of ice time in the semifinal against Canada and led Russia with five shots on goal. The rookie defenseman has three assists and has appeared in all nine games in the tournament.

Filppula was held scoreless in his semifinal against Sweden, but led all forwards in ice time with over 20 minutes (20:02).

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