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All-Around Action Sunday

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

Sunday’s competition saw high-flying action, including controversy and extracurricular activities as both contests with Panthers players were close.

Finland earned a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the USA while Sweden and the Czech Republic went back and forth before the Swedes earned a 5-3 win.

Olli Jokinen (Getty Images)
(Halifax) No one said that anyone was perfect. A controversial goal by Finland sparked the Finns come back from a 2-0 deficit to a 3-2 victory over USA Sunday.

The two teams played a scoreless first period and it was the US who first jumped on the board just 1:30 into the second. Edmonton’s Tom Gilbert beat Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom for his first goal of the tournament. Boston’s Phil Kessel closed out the second with his fourth goal with 45 seconds remaining.

Heading into the last period of play, the Americans felt comfortable with their two-goal lead. But that’s where the controversy stepped in just 2:12 into the third. Finland, on a 5-on-3 power play advantage got a shot from Ville Koistinen. The puck found the back of the net but under peculiar circumstances. Looking at the video, it looked like the pegs were out of it’s mooring and the puck flew under the right peg. The referees looked at it and deemed it a good goal.

That helped the Finns gain confidence and they controlled play in the third, outshooting the Americans 25-7. The second goal came off the stick of Anaheim’s Teemu Selanne midway through the period (9:16 left), tying the game at two. Panthers Ville Peltonen was credited with the second assist on the goal.

With the game tied, the Finns kept coming at the Americans relentlessly. Minnesota’s Mikku Koivu scored his third of the tournament and the game-winner with 3:50 remaining in regulation.

The end of the game was pretty much an all-out brawl as the two teams combined for 114 penalty minutes when the final horn sounded. The whole game was chippy as the two teams racked up 202 penalty minutes.

David Booth had a two-minute tripping call 1:05 into the third period on 12:17 of ice time. Craig Anderson was the backup for Robert Esche.

For the Finns, Olli Jokinen finished with 3:58 of ice time and one shot as he was kicked out of the game for checking Gilbert from behind with 3:31 left in the first period. Peltonen, along with that assist, had six shots on net, was a +1, and had 20:29 of ice time, the most on the team.

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Magnus Johansson (Getty Images)
(Quebec City) After suffering from a last second loss to the Russians the day before, Sweden bounced back on Sunday as they used a three-goal third period to earn a 5-3 victory over the Czech Republic.

Just like the USA-Finland game, neither team could find the scoreboard until the second period. 6:03 into the middle period, Toronto’s Anton Stralman changed that as his shot beat and gave Sweden the 1-0 lead. The Czech bounced back with 9:54 remaining in the period as New Jersey’s Patrick Elias scored on the power play.

The scoring continued in the second as Calgary’s Marcus Nilson gave Sweden the lead once again with his goal with 6:28 remaining while Buffalo’s Ales Kotalik tied it at two heading into intermission with his power play goal with 1:34 left.

Sweden would take the lead twice more in the third as Mattias Weinhandl’s goal 1:14 in gave them to lead just to see Washington’s Tomas Fleischmann tie it 9:41 in. The Swedes finally found their game-winner as it came off the stick of Patric Hornqvist with 4:53 remaining in regulation. Nilson added some insurance with an empty net goal with 26 seconds left on the clock.

Magnus Johansson finished with a shot on goal and was a +1 with a call. He had 19:30 of ice time.

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