A controversial goal by Finland’s Ville Koistinen proved to be the difference in Sunday’s match-up against Team USA. The goal, which appeared to enter from the side of the net, was allowed and pulled Finland to within one, swinging momentum their way and leading to a three-goal third period to beat the Americans, 3-2. The IIHF later acknowledged the goal did indeed enter from the side of the net and should not have counted.
The game proved to be quite a battle, as more than 200 penalty minutes were dished out, including game misconducts to USA’s David Backes and Finland’s Olli Jokinen and Anssi Salmela. All three received automatic one-game suspensions and won’t be available for the teams’ next games.
With the win, Finland pulled within one point of Team Canada, the current Group F leader. The two teams face off Monday for the top spot in the group. Team USA plays Norway on Monday and hopes to lock up the No. 3 spot in the group.
In other action Sunday, Latvia defeated Norway, 4-1. The two are competing for the fourth and final spot in Group F for the quarterfinal round. Switzerland handed Denmark, out of the quarterfinals, another loss, 7-2.
In their fifth and final games before the next round, Sweden pulled out a 5-3 win over the Czech Republic Sunday night. Lightning defenseman Filip Kuba played 21:30 with an even rating. Russia plays Switzerland Monday to secure the final standings in Group E. Russia currently leads with 10 points, but Switzerland, Sweden and the Czech Republic all have nine.