A new king will be crowned Sunday at the world hockey championship.
With a three-goal eruption in the third period, Sweden dumped the defending champion Czech Republic 5-2 in semifinal play today at the 2011 IIHF Worlds in Bratislava, Slovakia. The Tre Kronor advances to the gold-medal game Sunday at Orange Arena (2:15 p.m., TSN), where they'll chase Sweden's first world title since 2006.
It'll be a battle of Scandinavian rivals for the gold, as Finland blanked Russia 3-0 in its semifinal.
Patrik Berglund of the St. Louis Blues scored a pair of goals for Sweden, whose roster includes Senators prospects David Rundblad and Jakob Silfverberg
. Also scoring for the Tre Kronor were Mikael Backlund of the Calgary Flames, Marcus Kruger of the Chicago Blackhawks and Jimmie Ericsson of Skelleftea AIK, who had the eventual game-winner 8:07 into the third period.
New Jersey Devils forward Patrik Elias scored both goals for the Czechs, who had Milan Michalek
of the Senators in their lineup. Elias opened the scoring for the Czechs just 46 seconds into the middle frame, but Berglund and Backlund scored before the period was over to put the Swedes ahead to stay.
"I thought we started pretty well," Michalek told IIHF.com. "We scored the first goal, then I thought we backed up too much and gave them so much space in the neutral zone. They were flying in on our defencemen. We couldn’t control them after that."