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Finland wins gold, Sweden settles for silver

by Jen Sharpe / Edmonton Oilers
Team Sweden watches Team Finland receive its gold medals after dropping Sunday's game 6-1. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images).
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Two-and-a-half weeks after the 2011 World Championship opened, the tournament came to an end Sunday in Bratislava, Slovakia.

After winning their semifinals Friday, enjoying a day of rest Saturday, and watching the Czech Republic defeat Russia to win bronze earlier Sunday, Sweden and Finland met on international ice to battle for gold.


The opening frame was a close one, with a sole penalty (interference minor to Sweden's Oliver Ekman Larsson) interrupting the play. 

Thanks in part to the power-play, Finland finished the 20 minutes with a 13-12 shot lead.

Sweden took a second penalty four minutes into the second period, but Finland couldn't find a way to beat goalie Viktor Fasth.

One minute after Marcus Kruger completed his slashing minor, Oilers representative Magnus Paajarvi caught the puck, surged up the left wing, and wired a wrist-shot past Petri Vehanen to give the Tre Kronor a 1-0 lead.

Two Finnish penalties followed the goal, but a power-play goal remained elusive until the final minute of the middle frame.

Only 23 seconds into David Petrasek's hooking minor and with seven seconds left on the clock, Jarkko Immonen sunk a slapshot to tie the game at one heading into the third.

During intermission, Finnish head coach Jukka Jalonen must have delivered the pep talk to beat all pep talks because in the third period, his club exploded offensively.

2:35 into the frame, Petteri Nokelainen fired a sharp-angle shot past Fasth, and 46 seconds after that, Niko Kapanen capitalized on chaos in the crease to set the score 3-1.

Sweden held steady for the following 13 minutes, killing another penalty to stay within two goals, but it all fell apart in the final four minutes of the game. Janne Personen, Mika Pyorala, and Antti Pihlstrom all beat the struggling Fasth to cement a 6-1 win and earn a gold medal for Finland, its first in 16 years.

Despite being significantly out-scored, Sweden finished on top of a 33-32 shot count, thanks in large part to Paajarvi, who posted six attempts and was named Sweden's best player.

Although the loss will be tough to swallow, the Swedes will walk away with a silver medal, an improvement on last year's bronze.


Finland 6 - Sweden 1 
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights


Czech Republic 7
- Russia 4 
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights


Friday, May 13:

Finland 3 - Russia 0 
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

Sweden 5 - Czech Republic 2 
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos


Thursday, May 12:

Russia 2 - Canada 1 
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Finland 4
- Norway 1 
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

Wednesday, May 11:

Czech Republic 4 - USA 0 
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

Sweden 5 - Germany 2 
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos


Monday, May 9:

Canada 3 - Sweden 2
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Sunday, May 8:

Sweden 2 - Switzerland 0
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

Saturday, May 7:

Canada 3 - Norway 2
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

Friday, May 6:

Canada 4 - USA 3 (SO) 
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Sweden 4 - France 0
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos


Wednesday, May 4:

Sweden 6 - USA 2
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

Tuesday, May 3:

Canada 4 - Switzerland 3 (OT)
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Monday, May 2:

Sweden 3 - Austria 0
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

Sunday, May 1:

Canada 9 - France 1
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

Saturday, April 30:

Norway 5 - Sweden 4 (SO)
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

Friday, April 29:

Canada 4 - Belarus 1
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights
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