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Sweden rallies to beat Finland in shootout, 3-2

by Mike G. Morreale
CALGARY -- Sebastian Collberg and Max Friberg scored in a shootout when the Swedish National Junior Team ralled for a 3-2 victory over Finland on Tuesday in the semifinal round of the 2012 World Junior Championship at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Friberg's shootout goal, through the five-hole, was the clincher for the Swedes, who also received a shootout goal by the first shooter of the session, Collberg. Joel Armia struck in the shootout for Finland.

Finland captain Mikael Granlund had an opportunity to even the shootout at 2-apiece, but he fanned while trying to move the puck on his backhand.

Friberg, property of the Anaheim Ducks, scored off a turnover with just 1:44 remaining in the third period to pull his team into a 2-2 tie.

Friberg gained his opportunity from prime position in the slot after teammate Johan Sundstrom leaped to snare an attempted clearing attempt along the glass by Finland goalie Sami Aittokallio.

William Karlsson pulled Sweden to within 2-1 on a power-play goal just 3:11 into the third.

Finland's Simo-Pekka Riikola was whistled for hooking at 2:38 and the Swedes would make him pay 49 seconds later when Karlsson drove the slot and had the puck deflect off his leg and behind goalie Sami Aittokallio.

Armia cored an unassisted goal with 4:30 remaining in the second period to give the Finns a 2-0 lead. Armia, who has been playing extremely well this year following a below average debut for Finland at the WJC in 2011, connected for his fifth goal.

Armia skated in on Swedish goalie Johan Gustafsson and snapped a shot that hit the iron to the goalie's left before deflecting into the net.

The Finns opened a 1-0 lead with 1:31 left in the first when Alexander Ruuttu converted a great pass from Miro Aaltonen at the right post. The Finns last reached the gold medal game in 2001. The Swedes last garnered gold in 1981.

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