USA 2, Finland 0
Both USA and Finland had disappointing 3-0 losses yesterday during the semi’s, as the Americans fell to the Swiss and the Finns lost to the Swedes. Bronze wasn’t exactly what either club was looking to play, especially with how successful the tournament was for both teams in blue and white, but that’s how it had to be. It only took 58 seconds for Craig Smith to give the Americans the go ahead goal, as he recieved a pass in front from Paul Stastny before skating around Finnish goaltender Antti Raanta and placing the puck in the net. With the goal, that was Smith’s 13th point of the tourney, good enough to push him into third place in tournament scoring, while Stastny took over the second spot with his 14th point. Stastny would end up tying the tournament scoring lead with Finland’s Petri Kontiola after capitalizing on a great play with Smith once again, posting a nice wrist shot under the arm of Raanta and into the twine, making it 2-0. Heading into the third period, the Finnish team was begining to become nervous, knowing that a bronze medal was slipping away from their fingers. Finland would work its way back when Lauri Korpikoski scored two goals in 5 minutes to tie the game up in the dying minutes of the match. First, the Coyotes winger redirected a point shot from Ossi Vaananan to cut the lead in half. Kontiola would record an assist on the playing, a point that would allow the Finnish winger to take over the scoring lead. Korpikoski scored his second of the period and the game when Mikael Granlund made a nifty deke past an American defender and right on the tape of Korpy. The goal would send the game into overtime, but after nothing was decided there, the match had to be decided in the shootout. In the one on one competition, Janne Pesonen scored for Finland, which was matched on the last American shot by Alex Galchenyuk. A big save by Gibson on Korpikoski brought the talent show into extra rounds. A miss by Granlund set the stage for Galchenyuk who potted his second, this one securing the bronze for Team USA.
Sweden 3, Switzerland 1
Switzerland had trailed for about 14 minutes during the entire tournament, but that meant nothing coming into the finals against the hosts from Sweden. Many still thought that despite Switzerland’s incredible run that saw them win all nine games leading up to the final, they were outmatched by the much more talented. experienced Swedes. It was clear from throughout the game that the big keys to winning were to stop the Sedin’s, which they didn’t do all too well, and penetrate Jhonas Enroth, but he played yet another fantastic game. Roman Josi got things going for Switzerland, though, at 4:45 when he eluded a lax check from Loui Eriksson at the blue line and cut in on goal, backhanding the puck along the ice past Jhonas Enroth for the early 1-0 lead. It may have taken almost nine minutes for the Swedes to record their first shot on net, but they made the most of it, tying the game thanks to a Erik Gustafsson goal. The Flyers defenseman found a rebound in front of the Swiss net, and would pick the top corner with a nice shot through a screened Martin Gerber. A couple minutes afterwards, Henrik Sedin batted the puck out of midair in the crease to give the home side a 2-1 lead, much to the pleasure of the Swedish faithful. It would take until the third period for another goal to be scored, when Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog stole the puck on the blue line and raced in on the Swiss net all alone. Gerber stopped his attempt, but Simon Hjalmarsson punched in the rebound to give Sweden the 3-1 lead. Loui Eriksson finished off his fantastic tournament after deflecting a point shot off his skate into the net, and despite a goal review, it would count, making the score 4-1. Henrik Sedin scored an empty netter to put the game away with three minutes remaining, allowing Sweden to become the first team to win the World Championship gold medal from home since 1986, their ninth gold ever at the tournament. For Switzerland, it was the only their second silver ever after finishing runner-up in 1935, their highest finish at any level of international hockey.
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