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Zucca’s club mate sent Tre Kronor to the WC semi-finals – beating Finland in extra time

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The goals were far away for Sweden in the World Cup quarter-final against Finland, but in the end Tre Kronor could celebrate. Photo: Darko Vojinovic, AP / NTB

Of NTB | 23.05.2024 23:09:37

Sport: Mats Zuccarello’s Minnesota Wild clubmate deflected a shot from Victor Hedman in a four-on-three game while Finland’s Konsta Helenius was sent off. Thus, Tre Kronor is ready for the medal match in the WC for the first time since 2018.

Opponents in the semi-finals on Saturday will be the host country Czech Republic, after Pavel Zacha scored the only goal of the match against the USA.

Canada and Switzerland won earlier on Thursday and ensured that three of the four semi-finalists are from Norway’s group.

At the same time, Tre Kronor danced through the second group with seven straight victories and a maximum of 21 points. But the outcome of the neighboring duel was anything but obvious. Finland closed again and kept the scoreless in the first two periods even though Sweden won the shooting statistics 13-5 and 11-3 respectively.

It evened out in the third period, but after 55.02 came the opening. Iiro Pakarinen went for a feint, and Rasmus Dahlin passed him. Then he shot between the legs of goalkeeper Emil Larmi from an acute angle.

Extra time was scoreless until Helenius was sent off for holding down Adrian Kempe. In four to three, Sweden scored the winning goal.

Canada won 6-3 over Slovakia and will face Switzerland in the semi-finals. The Swiss beat Germany 3-1.

Finland had a poor group stage and would have been eliminated before the cup if Austria had not lost to relegation-ready Great Britain in the last round. Three wins, four losses and 10 points were the result for the Finns in Norway’s group.

It seemed to send Sweden to the semi-finals, but Finland rose to a desperate spurt, and 58 seconds before the end the puck was in Sweden’s goal. Hannes Björninen was strong in front of goal and headed in Valtteri Puustinen’s shot.

(© NTB)

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