After winning the 2013 Czech Hockey Games back in September, the Finnish national team has claimed the Karjala Cup despite an overtime loss during the final game against Sweden.
After close wins versus Russia (4-3) and Czech Republic (3-2) during the tournament, Finland only needed a single point to take home the gold medal and did exactly that. The final game didn’t start off too hot for the hometown team, however, as former Toronto Maple Leafs fourth liner Leo Komarov received a match penalty for kneeing early in the first. Pär Arlbrandt got Sweden on the board first on the ensuing five minute power-play thanks to a fantastic passing effort by the Swedish power-play. Sweden’s power-play would strike again during the second when Linus Klasen beat Finnish goalie Niko Hovinen to give the Tre Kronor the 2-0 advantage. Finland would eventually get one shortly after when Jere Karalaht got a power-play marker of his own, because that’s what all the cool hockey players were doing. The Finns would tie it up during the third when former NHL forward Niklas Hagman went end to end before slipping the puck past Henrik Karlsson and into the net to knot the game up at two. When the clock hit zero to mark the end of the third period, Finland had an early celebration as they accomplished the one point they needed to claim gold, and even Sebastian Erixon’s goal in overtime for Sweden couldn’t damper their spirits.
Earlier this year, Finland took home the 5-0 victory against Sweden in the final competition of the Czech Hockey Games, registering a perfect 3-0 record with a superb 10-1 goal difference.
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