It was Finnish young guns versus Sweden’s solid defence, and it didn’t turned out to be similar fireworks of scoring as Finland’s game against Canada. But it was a thriller all the same, and in the end, Finns came out on top thanks to two second-period goal, 2-1.
Kasperi Kapanen and team captain Mikko Rantanen collected two assists each for Finland. Antti Kalapudas scored the game-winner. Kaapo Kahkonen made 21 saves for Finland.
“It was a close game, but I think we deserved to win,” Kapanen said.
“This was our best game in the tournament,” added Rantanen who had two points in the first five games of the tournament.
“Mikko [Rantanen] has been a big part of our team in the tournament, he’s a great leader, and it was nice to see him get rewarded for his work on the ice,” said Sebastian Aho.
Rasmus Asplund scored Sweden’s lone goal, Linus Soderstrom made 26 saves.
“It’s my other family in there [in the dressing room], and to let in two goals in this game is a failure,” Soderstrom said.
“We knew we needed a goal at the end, and everybody battled like dogs, but we couldn’t tie it. Power play was the key, they scored their first one right after their power play, and the other one was a power-play goal,” said Dmytro Timashov.
Any way you slice it, the Finland versus Sweden games always come down to one word: rivalry. The rivalry cuts through all aspects all life, not just hockey, but hockey is a great way to measure its intensity level. Even if the players on these teams didn’t feel the weight of a nation on their shoulders, they also knew each other well, having played against each other several times over the years.