For the first time since 1996 Sweden qualified for the final of the World Juniors.
|Sweden - Russia 2:1 (0:0, 0:1, 1:0, 1:0)|
|Goals and assists: 52. Figren (Andersson, Moe), 67. Backlund (Svensson, Moe) - 39. Filatov (Cherepanov). Referees: Kurmann (SUI), Šindler (CZE) - Blümel (CZE), Jobson (CAN). Attendance: 3286. Shots on goal: 38:24|
|Sweden: Enroth (Riderwall) - Carlsson, Berglund K., Motin, Hedman, Moe, Andersen, Eklund - Moller, Berglund P., Alcen - Figren, Andersson, Larsson - Forsberg, Backlund, Lagerstrom - Hagelin, Kempe, Lundh - Svensson Paajarvi. |
|Russia: Bobrovsky (Galimov) - Kalimulin, Kurbatov, Doronin, Seleznev, Voinov, Alexandrov, Chudinov - Tikhonov, Sayustov, Golubstov - Filatov, Mamin, Cherepanov - Gordeyev, Bodrov, Korolev - Dadonov, Milekhin, Anisimov - Kugryshev.|
Sweden were down 1-0 after two periods of the semi final but tied it in the third period. The game went to over-time where Mikael Backlund scored the game-winner at 66:18.
“It was a good game. Both teams were really good. We won because we had more power. They played more defensive”, says Backlund. “We had been down 0-1 almost every game but won anyway, so we knew we could do it once again.”
The first period remained scoreless. Sweden had the upper hand and only allowed Russia to shoot 3 shots on goal. The teams played safe, afraid to allow the first goal. The best scoring chance of the period had Patrik Berglund just before the end when Sweden played short-handed.
The second period was Russia´s. They had several chances to get the first goal and at 38:27 Nikolai Filatov finally scored to take Russia to the lead. He approached the net from the left side and somehow managed to get the puck past Swedish netminder Jhonas Enroth.
Sweden came out as a new team for the third period. Sweden had 13 shots on goal while Russia had only 2. Johan Alcén and Oscar Möller both had great opportunities to tie the game, but Sergei Bobrovsky who saved 36 shots today managed to keep his net clean until Robin Figren beat him at 51:50.
“Our goalie coach had scouted their goalie and he told me he is very aggressive and comes out far, so the best way to score in a situation like this is to wait for him and round him”, said Figren.
Both teams had quite good opportunities to score in the final minutes of the third period but the game went to over-time.
With 5 seconds remaining of period 3 Dmitri Sayustov took a hooking penalty so Sweden started the over-time on the power-play. Russia killed the penalty and had a good chance to score shortly after returning to full strength when Enroth couldn´t hold a shot. However he made a nice glove save on the rebound shot.
At 6:18 of the ten minutes over-time Sweden´s youngest team member Magnus Svensson Pääjärvi passed the puck to Mikael Backlund who beat Bobrovsky to take Sweden to tomorrow´s final.
“It is hard to find words. It feels so great!”, says the young (1990) Swedish defender Victor Hedman who played his best game of the tournament. “It was really fun to play today. I think I did so well because I feel the coach believes in me.”
Later tonight it will be decided whether USA or Canada will join Sweden in the final. The bronze medal game will be played between Russia and the loser of the North American teams.
Pär Mårts (Sweden): Of course I am very proud of what the guys have done so far. I actually think that this game was won when we played Russia in Finland in November. Then we played great but lost. The important thing was that we got the feeling that we can beat them.
Sergei Nemchinov (Russia): First I´d like to congratulate Sweden, good luck in the finals. There were a lot of penalties today. In overtime, we made a mistake, they scored and won the game. It´s that simple.