Sweden wasn’t able to bring home a gold medal at the 2014 U17 World Championships but they’ll certainly be happy with the bronze medal after defeating their rivals from Finland by a score of 3-1.
The favoured Swedes got the first goal of the game just 2:06 into the game. Linus Weissbach, known for his high end speed and enticing skill, beat Kimmo Rautiainen with a screened wrist shot on just the third shot of the game, giving Sweden the 1-0 lead.
The arena fell dead silent with three minutes to go in the first when Kristian Vesalainen took a puck to the head. With the Swedes looking to clear the puck, the puck hit Vesalainen in the side of the head from up close, knocking him out of the play. Vesalainen would be fine, returning to the game during the second period.
The Swedes got quite the goaltending performance from Filip Gustavsson. One of the top goaltenders in the tournament, the 2016 draft eligible prospect faced 10 shots in the second, many of them proving be tough efforts. It would one of his great sliding pad saves that allowed his team to go back the other way and score with seven minutes to go in the second. This time, William Fallström converted a 3-on-1 one-timer into Sweden’s second goal of the game, a much harder goal to score than the first.
Finland wasn’t going to give up just yet. Three minutes into the third and final period, Riku Sihvonen took a wrist shot close that got tipped past Gustavsson, allowing the Finns to trail by just one. Finland would control a lot of the momentum in the third, despite allowing the Swedes multiple power-play’s when they needed to score the most. Sweden wouldn’t be able to score with the extra man, but Oskar Steen scored his only goal of the tournament with six minutes remaining in the game. The goal proved to be the final piece of the puzzle for the Tre Kronor, who escaped with a 3-1 victory to take the bronze medal at the 2014 U17 World Hockey Challenge.
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