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Lindell, Finland to play for gold at World Championship

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars defense prospect Esa Lindell will play for a gold medal at the 2016 World Championship in Russia. Lindell registered an assist Saturday as Finland defeated Russia, 3-1, in the semifinals to advance to Sunday’s championship game.

Finland will play Canada, which defeated the United States in the other semifinal game, for the gold medal.

Carolina prospect Sebastian Aho scored two power-play goals, and former Star Jussi Jokinen scored at even strength for Finland, which improved to 9-0 at the tournament. Goaltender Mikko Koskinen stopped 28 shots.

Lindell played 18:04, had one assist and a plus-one rating in the game. He had the secondary assist on Aho’s first power-play goal, which tied the game 1-1 early in the second period. Lindell helped set the stage for Aho’s second power-play goal, which extended Finland’s lead to 3-1 late in the second. He poked the puck away from Russia’s Alexander Ovechkin in Finland’s zone, joined the rush going the other way, and then drew an interference call on Ovechkin to put Finland on the power play. Aho scored 16 seconds later to give Finland the two-goal lead.

Lindell has registered four points (one goal, three assists) and a plus-seven rating in nine games at the tournament. He ranks second on Finland with 19:34 of ice time per game.

Ryan Ellis’ goal early in the third period snapped a 3-3 tied and held up as the game-winner as Canada rallied for a 4-3 win over the United States in Saturday’s other semifinal game. Canada jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period but the USA scored three straight goals in the second to take a 3-2 lead before Canada’s Derick Brassard tied the game on the power play with 4:30 left in the second.

Saturday Semifinal Games

Finland 3, Russia 1

Canada 4, USA 3

Sunday’s Medal Games

Bronze: USA vs. Russia, 8:15 a.m. CT

Gold: Canada vs. Finland, 12:45 p.m. CT

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on 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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