For the first time since the start of the Karjala Cup back in 1922, the Euro Hockey Tour’s first event of the season saw Sweden win their second straight championship, becoming the first repeat winner two years in a row.
Sunday’s action in Finland was about as close as you can get, with the actual standings finishing with both Sweden and Finland tied at six points at the end. Finland had the advantage coming in, beating Russia and the Czech Republic before the final meeting against their arch rivals. Sweden wasn’t worried, however, as a win against Finland in the final contest would result in a tournament championship no matter what for the Tre Kronor.
Sweden did not disappoint, and after Joel Lundqvist found the back of the net 13 minutes into the first, things were looking good for the team in yellow, white and blue. Jimmie Ericsson helped extend the lead for Sweden just three minutes into the second, but the Finns would answer back thanks to a big goal by Sami Lepisto with six minutes to go in the first. Linus Omark, who finished second in tournament scoring with four points, would end up sealing the deal for Sweden, with his third goal voiding Kristian Kuusela’s late game marker to help lead Sweden to a 3-2 victory and take the tiebreaker thanks to the win.
With the win, Sweden was able to secure the Karjala Cup championship for the second straight year, while Finland finished second for the silver and Russia came home with the bronze. The second leg of the Euro Hockey Tour will happen again during the next international break, with the Channel One Cup set to take place in Russia from December 17th-20th.
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