Tre Kronor ekes out OT win against Czechs

Tre Kronor ekes out OT win against Czechs
Mattias Weinhandl scored the game winner in overtime as Sweden beat the Czech Republic 3-2 in the quarter-finals of the World Ice Hockey Championships on Wednesday.

With the victory, Sweden advanced to play Canada in the semi-finals on Friday at the Colisee arena in Quebec City.

Weinhandl backhanded a shot from in close past Czech goalie Milan Hnilicka with 3:15 gone in the sudden-death overtime period.

Weinhandl said he just swatted at the puck and was surprised it went in.

“I did not see the puck,” said the 27-year-old forward who plays for Linkopings HC.

Patric Hornqvist and Marcus Nilson also scored for Sweden, which reached its eighth consecutive semi-final at the World Championships. Their last loss in the quarters was a 2-1 defeat to Finland in 2000.

Radim Vrbata and Tomas Rolinek scored for the Czechs who have reached the quarters every year since the current playoff format was introduced in 2000.

“They got the lucky goal,” Vrbata said.

Henrik Lundqvist made 29 saves on Wednesday for Sweden who last won gold in


The New York Ranger goalie joined Sweden halfway through the round robin. He posted ten shutouts this past season, the most by a Ranger goalie since the


Swedish defenceman Anton Stralman said he is looking forward to taking on unbeaten Canada.

“We have a good group of players even though a lot of them are playing in the Swedish league and the not the NHL,” Stralman said. “We are gonna give them (Canada) a good fight.”

Lundqvist shut down the Czechs big guns on Wednesday as Patrik Elias had five shots on goal for the Czechs but couldn’t score. Elisa leads the Czechs with five goals in the tournament.

Czech defenceman Tomas Kaberle had 10 points in six games, but he was also held off the scoresheet on Wednesday.

Hnilicka stopped 28 shots for the Czechs who took 10 penalties to just four for the Swedes.