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Klingberg to play for gold at World Championship

Stars defenseman scores game-winner as Sweden tops Finland, will face Canada for gold medal

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Stars defenseman John Klingberg will play for the gold medal at the 2017 World Championship on Sunday. Klingberg scored the game-winning goal as Sweden defeated Stars defenseman Julius Honka and Finland, 4-1, in the semifinals Saturday in Cologne, Germany.

Sweden will play Canada in Sunday's championship game. Canada rallied to defeat Valeri Nichushkin and Russia, 4-2, in Saturday's other semifinal game. Russia and Finland will square off in the bronze medal game Sunday.

Sweden 4, Finland 1

John Klingberg's power-play goal at 4:36 of the second period gave Sweden a 2-1 lead and held up as the game-winner as Sweden defeated Finland, 4-1, to advance to the gold medal game at the 2017 World Championship. Klingberg scored on a snap shot from the high slot just seven seconds into Sweden's first power play of the game.

Alex Edler, William Nylander, and Joakim Nordstrom also scored goals for Sweden. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 22 of 23 shots for the Swedes.

Klingberg, who played on a defense pair with Edler, logged 20:07 of ice time in the game and had five shots on goal. Klingberg has recorded six points (two goals, four assists), 23 shots on goal, and a plus-seven rating in nine games at the tournament. He is averaging 18:48 of ice time per game.

Julius Honka, who was named one of Finland's three best players at the tournament, led the Finns with 21:27 of ice time in Saturday's game. He had no points, no shots and a minus-one rating. Honka has tallied three points (one goal, two assists) in nine games and is averaging 17:47 of ice time per game.

Canada 4, Russia 2

Canada trailed 2-0 after two periods but scored four unanswered goals in the third to rally for a 4-2 win and advance to Sunday's gold medal game. Mark Scheifele, Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan O'Reilly and Sean Couturier (empty net) scored for the Canadians, who outshot Russia 19-5 over the final 20 minutes of the game. O'Reilly's goal with 3:02 remaining gave Canada a 3-2 lead and was the game-winner. Calvin Pickard stopped 26 shots in goal for Canada.

Valeri Nichushkin had no points, two shots on goal and a minus-one rating in 11:12 of ice time for Russia. He has no points and nine shots on goal in five games at the tournament and is averaging 11:24 of ice time per game.

Canada will be looking to win its third straight gold medal at the World Championship when it takes on Sweden Sunday.

Saturday's Semifinals

Canada 4, Russia 2
Sweden 4, Finland 1

Sunday's Medal Games

Bronze: Finland vs. Russia, 9:15 a.m.
Gold: Canada vs. Sweden, 1:45 p.m. 

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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