Mar 28, 2014; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames center Mikael Backlund (11) skates with the puck against the New York Rangers during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Russia advances to finals in IIHF World Championship

Russia beat the defending world champions Sweden in a 3-1 game on Saturday; advancing to the gold medal game in the IIHF World Championship.

The game marked the ninth straight victory for Russia. The team will face either the Czech Republic or Finland in Sunday’s final.

Sweden managed to get on the books a mere 19 seconds into the first period. Despite this, Russia rebounded, outshooting Sweden 11-6 in the first period. Russia managed to tie the game at 13:25 when Sergei Plotnikov capitalized on a rebound. Taking the lead at the end of the first period, Sergei Shirokov scored the eventual game winner with a wrist shot that soared past Sweden’s goalie Anders Nilsson.

Nilsson admitted that the Swedes didn’t play their best:

“I don’t think we came up to our best level,” Nilsson said. “I think they were better than us today, they had more chances and we didn’t create enough chances to win.”

The game was over after Sweden’s Mikael Backlund of the Calgary Flames received a five minute charging penalty  and game misconduct after plowing through Plotnikov.

Russia now has the chance to win the second World title in three years.

Tags: IIHF World Championship Russia