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Pogge, Rask Continue To Roll

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs

January 2, 2006

VANCOUVER (CP) -- Teemo Laasko scored at 9:26 of overtime to give Finland a 1-0 win over Sweden in the quarter-finals of the world junior hockey championship Monday.

Finland will meet Canada in Tuesday's semifinal (TSN, 7 p.m. ET).

Finnish goaltender Tuuka Rask was the hero of the game, stopping 53 shots for the shutout. Sweden's Daniel Larsson made 24 saves.

Sweden almost got the winner just past the seven-minute mark when Johan Ryno put the puck off the opposite post behind Rask on an attempted wrap-around.

Teammate Tobias Viklund was then slapped with a tripping penalty to give the Finns a chance to end the game with a power-play goal.

Larsson tried to freeze the puck on a goal-mouth scramble and it squirted loose for Laakso, who fired it over a prone Larsson. Rask, a 2005 first-round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs, earned an ovation from GM Place for his efforts.

Finland lost 5-1 to Canada to open the round robin Dec. 26.

Rask's point-blank stop on Sweden's Johannes Salmonsson during a power-play late in the third had Salmonsson raising his arms over his head in exasperation.

Sweden failed to convert two player-play chances in the third and was scoreless on seven opportunities. Finland finished 1-for-5 with the man advantage.

Finland finished third in Group A with a 2-2 record. Sweden was second in Group B at 3-1, but will now play the loser of Monday's later quarter-final between the U.S. and the Czech Republic.

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