Sweden loses to Canada in World Hockey semi

Canada advanced to the gold medal game of the World Ice Hockey Championships on Friday after beating Sweden 5-4.

Mike Green scored the winner and had two assists for Canada who will face Russia in Sunday’s final after the Big Red Machine blanked Finland 4-0 earlier Friday.

Green raced down the right side and scored with a wrist shot from a sharp angle to make it 5-3 with just seven seconds to go in the second.

Swedish defenceman Doug Murray tripped at his own blueline allowing Green the time he needed to get a good shot away.

“I was going to pass the puck and I noticed their two defencemen bumped into each other,” Green said. “I didn’t know how much time was left on the clock and our forwards were standing still.

“But if I passed it we wouldn’t have had a chance to get it in so I just took off.”

Rick Nash, Dany Heatley, Jamal Mayers and Ryan Getzlaf also scored for Canada who beat Sweden in the semi-finals for the second-straight year.

Anton Strålman scored twice while Niclas Wallin and Fredrik Warg added singles for reigning Olympic gold medallist Sweden who last won the gold at the Worlds in 2006.

“We pressed them, and it was close but no cigar,” said Swedish coach Bengt-Ake Gustafsson. “They are a great team.”

Canada outshot Sweden 38-34 but neither goalie looked particularly sharp in front of a crowd of 13,026 at the Colisee arena in Quebec City.

Mikael Tellqvist took over from New York Rangers star Henrik Lundqvist in goal for Sweden to start the third period with Canada leading 5-3.

Gustafsson talked to Lundqvist during the break and decided to make the switch after Lundqvist allowed five goals on 28 shots in the first two periods.

“He was burned out,” Gustafsson said of Lundqvist.

Other than a 5-4 win over the USA in the round robin, this was the first serious test for Canada and the first time they came from behind to win.

Just as they had done throughout their first eight straight victories in Halifax, Canada played their good luck folk song Stan Rogers’ “Barrett’s Privateers” during the warmup in Quebec.

Heatley opened the scoring with his tournament leading 11th goal with just over five minutes gone in the first period.

The trio of Getzlaf, Nash and Heatley has been Canada’s dominant line all tournament and Friday was no different as they scored three goals and at times looked like they were playing a game of keep away with the puck in the Swedish zone.

Strålman tied the game with just 44 seconds left in the period beating Canada goaltender Pascal Leclaire who was playing without his goal stick after he accidentaly dropped it.

Mattias Weinhandl carried the puck behind the Canadian net and backhanded a short pass to Stralman who beat the stickless Leclaire to that same side.

The Swedes threw a scare into Canada early in the second as Green came down hit the post on a slapshot and the Sweden grabbed the puck and went down and scored five seconds later.

Wallin scored just 2:46 into the second. He took a shot in close and it ended up under Leclaire’s leg pad. Leclaire then accidentally kicked it into his own goal after losing track of the puck in his crease.

Getzlaf levelled the score at 2-2 just 1:12 later on a great individual effort. He beat Swedish defenceman Magnus Johansson with a hesitation move to the outside and then chipped the puck off the right shoulder of Lundqvist into the top half of the net.

Mayers then made it 3-2 for Canada. He picked up the puck in the high slot and waited for Lundqvist to go down before shooting.

Strålman got his second of the game as he fired a long wrist shot from the blueline that fooled Leclaire and tied the game 3-3.

But Nash, at even strength, and Green, on the power play, scored before the end of the period as Canada regained the lead 5-3.

Nash split the Swedish defence just inside the blueline to beat Lundqvist and make it 4-3.

Warg pulled the Swedes to within one goal late in the third period but they couldn’t get the equalizer.


Scary pictures of Eddie Läck stretchered off ice after violent collision

Swedish goalie Eddie Läck ended up in hospital after being sent sprawling as the Detroit Red Wings' Andreas Athanasiou scored a game-winning goal with 3:01 left in overtime.

Scary pictures of Eddie Läck stretchered off ice after violent collision
Eddie Läck was carried out on a stretcher. Photo: AP Photo/Gerry Broome

Athanasiou crashed into Läck on the play and the Carolina Hurricanes goalie, who missed significant stretches of the NHL season with concussions, was attended to on the ice for more than 15 minutes as both teams and the crowd in Raleigh, North Carolina, watched in silence.

He was taken off on a stretcher and on to hospital for evaluation, giving a thumbs-up sign as he was carried off the ice.

The moment Athanasiou crashed into Läck. Photo: AP Photo/Gerry Broome

The Hurricanes later released a statement saying Läck was undergoing tests but had full feeling in his extremities.

“I did see it,” Carolina coach Bill Peters said when asked about the replay. “[Athanasiou] obviously went into the net hard, and there was a little shot to the head there at the end of the play and that's where the problem lies right now.”

Athanasiou said he hadn't even realized he had hit Läck as he scored the goal that gave the Red Wings a 4-3 victory.

“I had a tight angle there, so I just tried to drive the net and I'm fortunate it worked out,” he said. “You never want to see a player go down like that and go on a stretcher. I hope he's okay. I had no idea I hit him.”