Karlsson Powers Sweden To Victory Over Finland To Advance To Gold Medal Game


As I stated in my preview of the semi-final, Finland’s inability to kill penalties effectively could prove to be their undoing.  As it turns out, I was right, and it was Erik Karlsson‘s power play blast from the point with 3 and a half minutes left in the second period that was the winner in a game where both teams seemed to play not to lose rather than playing to win.

Finland got some bad news earlier in the day when it was revealed that Tuukka Rask had the flue and the Finns’ top goaltender would not be able to go, yielding the crease to Kari Lehtonen.

Ho Hum Karlsson Does It Again. PHOTO CREDIT: USA Today Sports

Finland actually took the lead when Olli Jokinen reached a puck that probably should have gone for icing but was waved off, and threw it at the net somehow getting through Henrik Lundqvist and trickling over the line.  While Finland has been very good with the lead so far, but this time it lasted just 5 minutes as Loui Eriksson converted a feed from Jimmie Ericsson.  Then, less than 5 minutes later, with Jokinen off for tripping Karlsson scored his team leading 4th goal of the tournament to put the Swedes ahead, as it turned out for good.

That was the end of the scoring as Sweden shut the door, not pressing offensively and managing only 3 shots in the final frame while allowing the Finns only 8 and hanging on for the 2-1 win.

Lundqvist celebrates the 2-1 win. PHOTO CREDIT: SCOTT ROVAK – USA Today Sports

Given the vast difference in pace of the two semi-final games, both Sweden and Finland are going to be hard pressed to win their final games of the tournament.