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Europe beats Sweden in OT, advances to final

Tomas Tatar's two-goal night helped Team Europe best Sweden 3-2 in overtime and advance to the final

by Chris Wescott | Head Writer @TheChrisWescott / Edmontonoilers.com

Tomas Tatar scored the game-winning goal in overtime to lift Team Europe to a 3-2 win against Sweden, and give them a spot in the final against Canada.

A scoreless opening frame was not without opportunities. Just 13 seconds in, Patric Hornqvist recorded the first shot on goal, a point-blank chance, that was stopped by Jaroslav Halak.

At 2:06, Sweden's Gabriel Landeskog pulled away, splitting two defenders for a 1-on-1 look at Halak. Once again, the Europe goaltender kept Sweden off the board.

Video: WORLD CUP | EURO vs SWE Recap

Another Swedish opportunity came at 10:24 when Filip Forseberg wrapped around the net but couldn't finish.

With 49 seconds left in the opening frame, it appeared as if Europe's captain Anze Kopitar had snuck a shot under the pads of Henrik Lundqvist. However, Sweden's netminder closed the gates and the game went into the second tied 0-0.

At 2:31 of the second, Sweden took a 1-0 lead. Nicklas Backstrom potted a rebound in front of Halak to break open scoring.Team Europe Head Coach Ralph Krueger challenged for goaltender interference. The call stood, and Sweden set to work on defending their lead.

With shots even at 16, the 1-0 score holding and five minutes left in the second, things began to get more heated. Marian Hossa of Team Europe and Sweden's Mattias Ekholm engaged in a shoving match away from the puck that sent them both to the box.

In the ensuing two minutes of 4-on-4 hockey, Europe drew even. Christian Ehrhoff set up Marian Gaborik at the top of the crease and his shot trickled in underneath Lundqvist at 16:27 of the middle frame.

In the last minute of play in the second, Lundqvist covered the puck, lying on his back to keep Sweden from their first deficit of the afternoon.

It took 12 seconds into the third period for Europe to pull ahead. Lundqvist made a glove save on Tatar but couldn't recover to stop the rebound and the Detroit Red Wings forward put the Europeans up 2-1.

Europe almost went ahead by two when Thomas Vanek had a breakaway opportunity. Vanek's shot made it past Lundqvist but Anton Stralman plucked it away from the line before the puck could cross.

Sweden tied the game, courtesy of Erik Karlsson's point shot at 15:28 of the third. Karlsson's shot found its way through traffic out in front of Halak.

The tight game needed overtime for a decision.

At 3:43 of the extra frame, Tatar scored in tight on Lundqvist to ignite the celebrations. A short review confirmed the goal, and Europe advanced to the final where they will play Canada in a best-of-three series starting Tuesday.

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