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Sweden beats Finland in junior exhibition

by Adam Kimelman
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Another chapter in the ferocious hockey rivalry between Sweden and Finland was written Tuesday afternoon here at the U.S. Olympic Center.

In a game that featured big hits and lots of scoring, Sweden skated away with a 5-3 victory in the first international exhibition game being played as part of USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp.

William Wallen, who plays in the Ontario Hockey League for the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors, scored the game-winning goal in the third period to lead Sweden.

Calle Jarnkrok, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Jesper Fasth and Adam Almqvist also scored for Sweden, and goalie Robin Lehner, an Ottawa Senators prospect playing for the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, stopped 14 of 17 shots.

Mika Partanen, Iiro Pakarinen and Joonas Makinen scored for Finland. Goalie Christopher Gibson, who plays for the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and is considered one of the best 2011 Entry Draft-eligible goaltenders in the QMJHL, allowed five goals on 23 shots.

Sweden led 3-2 in the third when Makinen banged in a rebound at 13:13 to tie the game. But Wallen an unassisted goal 29 seconds later to put Sweden ahead to stay.

Despite being outplayed in the first period, Sweden led 1-0 after 20 minutes on Jarnkrok's power-play goal.

Finland tied the game midway through the second when Partanen beat Lehner. Ekman-Larsson, chosen by the Phoenix Coyotes with the eighth pick of the 2009 Entry Draft, scored a power-play goal to put Sweden ahead, but with 2.6 seconds left, Pakarinen scored to tie the game again.

Pakarinen made another big impact just 14 seconds into the third period, when he crushed Sweden defenseman Tim Erixon, a 2009 Calgary Flames first-round pick, into the end boards. Erixon remained down on the ice for a few moments, but he was able to skate off the ice with help. He did not return, leaving his status for Wednesday's game against the U.S. in question.

Sweden defenseman Adam Larsson, a projected top-five pick for the 2011 Entry Draft, found a cutting Fasth for a power-play goal that put Sweden up 3-2 in the third.

The game featured 21 penalties, with Pakarinen ringing up the game's only double-minor when he collided with Lehner behind the Sweden net, breaking the goaltender’s stick on the play. He was whistled for goaltender interference, and also drew a roughing penalty when he and Ekman-Larsson were pushing and shoving after the whistle.

Sweden went 4-for-11 on the power play, while Finland went 0-for-8.

These teams will play again on Thursday. On Tuesday, the U.S. will play Sweden, and Wednesday the Americans will play Finland. All games are at 4 p.m. ET.

Contact Adam Kimelman at

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