It was expected that Sweden and Finland would play a close, tightly contested game in their semifinal of the 2014 Winter Olympics men’s ice hockey tournament. They didn’t disappoint on that front, and the two squads battled for every inch of ice as Sweden skated to a 2-1 victory over their neighbors.
Olli Jokinen opened the scoring in the first period on an awkward and somewhat lucky play. Icing had been waived off at the last moment and he swept the puck towards Henrik Lundqvist, who couldn’t come up with the save on the strange shot. That would be the only goal that “King” would yield.
At the other end, Kari Lehtonen was forced into action as Tuukka Rask fell ill just before the semifinal. The Dallas Stars netminder made 23 saves but didn’t quite get enough scoring help from his team. Finland pushed into the offensive zone in the third period and outshot the Swedes by an 8-3 margin, but Lundqvist was up to the task each and every time.
It was Loui Eriksson who got Sweden on the board first to tie the contest at one-all, and Erik Karlsson continued his strong play by burying a power-play goal to give the Swedes the lead. That was all Lundqvist would need, and Sweden is headed to the Gold medal game.
They await the winner of the second semifinal game, which will take place later on today between the United States and Canada.
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