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WJC ON LOCATION: Sweden Lands big win

by Marc Ciampa / Edmonton Oilers
Oilers prospect and Swedish captain Anton Lander battles for the puck during Friday's game. (Photo by Getty Images)  
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BUFFALO, NY -- From now until the end of the Gold Medal Game, we will be on location to provide coverage of the World Junior Hockey Championship.

Curtis Hamilton put in his most impressive performance in the tournament to-date but he was overshadowed by fellow Oilers prospect Anton Lander.

Lander scored the backbreaking shootout goal which clinched a 6-5 win for the Swedes over Canada.

"We had already taken two penalty shots and Oscar Lindberg scored so I had nothing to lose, I wanted to win the game. I had this move that I grew up with so I thought I better play it safe and why not try it now when you're in this situation," Lander said.

It was Sweden's first game at HSBC Arena with all their others being at the miniscule Dwyer Arena in Niagara. However, the large pro-Canadian crowd did not affect their resolve.

"We're a strong group in Sweden and we're really strong together. We work 100% every shift for 60 minutes and today 65 minutes to win the game," Lander noted.

"It started with the Russian game we beat Russia 2-0. Then we got the confidence to go next to Czech and Canada today in a new rink, a new arena with 8,00 Canadian fans so we get a lot of energy from that."

Lander's goal was scored on fellow Oilers prospect Olivier Roy.

"I think the guys played great scoring all those goals. We had the lead halfway through the third. It's the most disappointing part that late in the third, I needed just one more save to get the win and now we have to come back and next game, if I'm going to be in net for the next game, I'm going to prepare myself to be ready for it," Roy remarked.

Before Sweden tied the game up at 5-5 in the third period, it looked like Hamilton would be the one going down as the hero.

First, with the game tied 2-2, he scored with 0.5 seconds left on the clock in the opening period.

In the second period he then crashed the net and had the puck go in off his skate to pull Canada back on even terms at 4-4.

Watch highlights of the game

Toni Rajala (right) battles with USA's Derek Forbort
Toni Rajala had an assist as his Finnish squad put in their most impressive performance of the tournament so far, defeating Slovakia 6-0.

Rajala is currently second on Finland in assists with four but is still looking for his first goal.

"I feel pretty good. I can't score, I don't know why," chuckled Rajala. "It's a problem but we've been playing well. Our goalie has been good so far, he has three wins and we have four lines that can score."

The Finns as a unit have had no problems putting the puck in the net and seem to be getting better each game.

"It's been a pretty good tournament so far for us. That first game against the USA was great. We didn't win but after that we've been good."

Finland ended up in second place in their group and have the daunting task of facing Russia in the quarterfinals. That game will be at 5:30 p.m. MST on Sunday, January 2.

"I think we have more skills this year and we are a little bit of a stronger team than last year," Rajala remarked. He then added that this year it's all about the medal.

"I don't really care how many points I get. It's my last year here and I want to win, of course the gold medal, is our goal but we'll see what happens. We want a medal, that's our goal."

Canada's quarterfinal game will be against Switzerland at 1:30 p.m. on January 2. If Canada wins they then take on the USA on Monday.

Sweden will await the winner of Finland and Russia. 

CAN/SWE post-game interviews
Interviews with Oilers prospects Hamilton, Lander & Roy after the game.
Cogliano's WJC memories
Oilers centre Andrew Cogliano looks back at his time in the World Juniors.
Alberta 2012 Promotional Video
A look at what fans in Edmonton & Calgary can expect for 2012.

(all times mountain)

Sunday, January 2:

Canada vs. Switzerland - 1:30 p.m.
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights  | Post-game interviews

Finland vs. Russia - 5:30 p.m.
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights  | Post-game interviews

Monday, January 3:

Sweden vs. Russia or Finland - 1:30 p.m.
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights  | Post-game interviews

USA vs. Canada or Switzerland - 5:30 p.m.
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights  | Post-game interviews

Wednesday, January 5:

Bronze Medal Game - 1:30 p.m.
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights  | Post-game interviews

Gold Medal Game - 5:30 p.m.
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights  | Post-game interviews


(all times mountain)

Sunday, December 26:

Canada 6 - Russia 3
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Sweden 7 - Norway 1
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

USA 3 - Finland 2 (OT)
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Monday, December 27:

Slovakia 2 - Germany 1 (OT)
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

Tuesday, December 28:

Finland 4 - Switzerland 0
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

7 - Czech 2
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Sweden 2 - Russia 0
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

USA 6 - Slovakia 1
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Wednesday, December 29:

Finland 5 - Germany 1
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

Canada 10 - Norway 1
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights

Thursday, December 30:

Switzerland 6 - Slovakia 4
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

Sweden 6 - Czech 3
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos

Friday, December 31:

Finland 6 - Slovakia 0
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Post-Game Interviews

Sweden 6 -  Canada 5 (SO)
Gamesheet | Recap | Photos | Highlights | Post-Game Interviews

======END OF ROUND ROBIN======
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