In front of Henrik Lundqvist’s 25-save night, the Swedes won a chess match of a game against their rivals from Finland and will take on the winner of Canada-USA in Sunday’s gold medal game.
One half of the gold medal game is set, as the Swedes will look to win their second Olympic tournament with NHL players involved.
Sweden fought through the tight-checking Finnish system to earn a 2-1 win Friday. After a scoreless first period, the second frame hosted all three goals in the game. Finland’s Olli Jokinen drew first blood with his goal 6:17 into the period, but the lead didn’t last long. About five minutes later, Sweden’s Loui Eriksson tied the game up on assists from Jonathan Ericsson and Nicklas Backstrom. I’ve minutes after that, Erik Karlsson scored to give Sweden a 2-1 edge they wouldn’t look back from.
Sweden’s Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves on 26 shots for the win, while Finland’s Kari Lehtonen stopped 23 of 25 shots.
Finland’s best chance to create space on the scoreboard was during a two-man advantage in the first period after Sweden’s Patrik Berglund and Niklas Kronwall went to the penalty box for roughing and interference penalties. However, Finland wasn’t able to find a way to convert.
Sweden will play the winner of Canada/USA Sunday at 7:00 am Eastern, while Finland will play the loser of Canada/USA Saturday morning at 10:00 Eastern for the bronze medal.
Finland will be looking for its fourth medal of the NHL Olympic era, which would lead all countries.