rain.png
Saturday October 19th, 2019 3:44PM

Canada, Sweden advance to world hockey final

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Canada and Sweden will face off for gold medal at the world junior hockey championship Friday night.

"I think it's the two best teams that are going to meet," Swedish goaltender Filip Gustavsson said.

Gustavsson made 29 saves and Sweden had a three-goal third period to beat the defending champion United States on Thursday in the first semifinal.

Drake Batherson had a hat trick to lead Canada over the Czech Republic 7-2 and into the title game for the third time in four years.

Canada and Sweden have played for the gold medal game three times before, in 1996, 2008 and 2009. The Canadians won all three contests.

With the expected No. 1 pick in this year's NHL draft, defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, and several other top prospects on the roster, the Swedes believe they have the talent to claim their first gold medal since 2012. Sweden finished fourth each of the last three years after finishing second in 2013 and 2014.

"Everyone is here to win," Swedish coach Tomas Moten said. "So if we're not going to win tomorrow, I don't think the feeling will be any different than last year when we lost the bronze medal game."

The U.S. was trying to become the first country to win back-to-back gold medals since Canada claimed five straight from 2005-09. The Americans have never won a gold medal on home ice.

"This one blindsided us because we felt so strong with how we were going," U.S. coach Bob Motzko said. "We had a vampire suck it out of us today. It just tells you how tough it is."

Elias Pettersson, Lias Andersson, Oskar Steen and Axel Jonsson Fjallby scored for Sweden, which has not trailed in any game during the tournament. Linus Lindstrom had two assists.

"We have every chance to win gold," Dahlin said. "We're so excited about tomorrow."

Sam Steel, Maxime Comtois, Jordan Kyrou and Boris Katchouk also had goals for Canada, which has won every game in dominating fashion aside from its 4-3 shootout loss to the U.S. in the preliminary round.

Canada came alive late in the first period after spotting the Czechs a 1-0 lead in the first six minutes. Steel and Batherson scored power-play goals to make it 2-1 by the end of the first.

"The first goal was more of a wakeup call for us," Batherson said. "After that, we played our game and showed our true colors."

The Canadians scored four times in a 10-minute span of the second period. Batherson, a fourth-round draft choice of the Ottawa Senators, scored his third goal to make it 6-1 with 3:02 remaining in the third and tie U.S. forward Kieffer Bellows and the Czech Republic's Filip Zadina for the tournament lead with seven goals.

Zadina, one of the top prospects eligible for this year's NHL draft, scored both goals for the Czech Republic.

"I was glad to play well, but I'm so sad because we lost. My goals mean nothing," Zadina said. "We will do anything tomorrow. We will die on the ice to bring a medal back to Czech Republic."

After beating Canada in a shootout to win the gold medal last year, the U.S. will try for its sixth bronze medal against the Czechs on Friday. The Americans placed third in 1986, 1992, 2007, 2011 and 2016.

"The goal at the beginning of the tournament when everything starts is gold medal," Bellows said, who scored his tournament-leading seventh goal against Sweden. "But I know we have to push this behind us and get ready for the bronze medal game. We're doing this for the team in the locker room and USA Hockey as a whole."

The Czech Republic last won a bronze medal in 2005. Czechoslovakia placed third six times from 1977-1993.

Bellows and Brady Tkachuk scored late goals for the U.S. after Sweden built a 4-0 lead midway through the third period.

The U.S. controlled the action for much of the first two periods before Pettersson's power-play goal put Sweden ahead 1-0 with 6:30 left in the second.

With U.S. defenseman Dylan Samberg in the penalty box for high-sticking, Pettersson, the Vancouver Canucks' No. 5 overall pick last year, received a pass in the left faceoff circle from Buffalo Sabres 2016 first-round selection Alex Nylander and one-timed a slap shot over Woll's shoulder into the far corner of the net.

Nylander's assist gave him 28 career points at the world juniors, equaling father Michael Nylander for fourth on Sweden's career list.

Gustavsson' preserved the lead when stopped U.S. forward Casey Mittelstadt on a 3-on-0 breakaway in the final minute of the second period. Mittlestadt, the Sabres' most recent first-round pick, entered the game leading the tournament with 10 points.

Andersson made it 2-0 when he tapped in his sixth goal of the tournment on a 2-on-1 with Fredrik Karlstrom early in the third period. Steen and Jonsson Fjallby scored shorthanded goals 38 seconds apart before the U.S. pulled goaltender Joseph Woll with 11:25 remaining.

"We failed Joe tonight," Motzko said. "Joe didn't fail us."

Bellows scored on a power play to end Gustavsson's shutout bid with 7:36 remaining. Tkachuk's goal came with 3:01 left to play and the U.S. was unable to score on a power play in the closing minutes.

Pro Football Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas dropped the ceremonial first puck wearing a replica of one of his older Buffalo Bills jerseys, matching the U.S. uniforms. Team USA also wore the blue jerseys and pants during its preliminary-round win over Canada outdoors at the Bills' New Era Field.

Earlier Thursday, Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup scored the deciding goal in a shootout and Denmark beat Belarus 3-2 to sweep the relegation series.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Online Hockey, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Fox's 'New Girl' final season begins April 10
The final season of Fox TV's "New Girl" will debut April 10, picking up the characters' lives a few years after they were last seen.
10:57PM ( 2 minutes ago )
Canada, Sweden advance to world hockey final
Canada and Sweden will face off for gold medal at the world junior hockey championship Friday night
10:50PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Mother knows best: Serena opts out of Aussie title defense
Defending champion Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Australian Open, saying she is not ready to return to tournament tennis
10:47PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Oklahoma stars Brown, Andrews to enter the NFL draft
Oklahoma stars Orlando Brown, Mark Andrews to enter the NFL draft
8:31PM ( 2 hours ago )
Knierims win short program at national championships
Husband and wife Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim won the short program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Thursday even though he stumbled in a dangerous position just before a key element
8:01PM ( 2 hours ago )
Sweden beats US 4-2 in world junior hockey semifinals
Filip Gustavsson made 29 saves and Sweden had a three-goal third period to beat the United States 4-2 on Thursday in the world junior hockey semifinals
7:50PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Sports
Brady, Patriots again top the AFC playoff field
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots again top the AFC playoff field in a year were there are three newcomers
5:48PM ( 5 hours ago )
Alabama's Rashaan Evans hoping for another big title game
Alabama's Rashaan Evans has saved his best for the last game two years running
4:54PM ( 6 hours ago )
Topsy-turvy NFC playoff field: 5 newcomers plus Falcons
NFC playoff field features 5 new teams and defending conference champion Falcons
4:51PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online Football
International hockey head wants NHL back for 2022 Olympics
The head of the International Ice Hockey Federation says he will do everything in his power to persuade the NHL to take part in the 2022 Beijing Olympics
3:34PM ( 7 hours ago )
Panthers-Bruins game postponed due to severe winter weather
Matchup between Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins postponed due to severe winter storm impacting Boston and surrounding area
1:07PM ( 9 hours ago )
US beats Russia, advances to world junior semifinals
Kieffer Bellows scores 2 goals to lead U.S. in 4-2 win over Russia in world juniors quarterfinal
12:45AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Hockey
USC quarterback Sam Darnold will enter NFL draft
Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold will skip his final two seasons of eligibility to enter the NFL draft
9:50PM ( 1 day ago )
UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is entering the NFL draft
UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is skipping his senior season to enter the NFL draft
9:42PM ( 1 day ago )
LA QBs Rosen, Darnold announce NFL draft entry moments apart
Within 30 minutes of one another, UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen and Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold announced they will enter the NFL draft
8:46PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - NFL
Mother knows best: Serena opts out of Aussie title defense
Defending champion Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Australian Open, saying she is not ready to return to tournament tennis
10:47PM ( 12 minutes ago )
IIHF chief urges players to press NHL on going to Olympics
The head of the International Ice Hockey Federation says he will do everything in his power to persuade the NHL to take part in the 2022 Beijing Olympics
10:46PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Curry, Thompson help Warriors beat Rockets 124-114
Stephen Curry had 29 points and Klay Thompson added 28 as the Golden State Warriors pulled away late in the fourth quarter for a 124-114 win over the Houston Rockets
10:44PM ( 15 minutes ago )
UN Security Council to meet on Iran protests, at US request
The U.N. Security Council plans to hold an emergency meeting on Iran Friday; US sought the session to show support for anti-government protests.
10:40PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Leishman opens with a 67 to lead at Kapalua
Leishman enjoying Kapalua much more this time and opens with a 67 for the lead
10:21PM ( 38 minutes ago )