Lackluster Swedes shut out by sharpshooting Finns

Sweden lost to Finland in the bronze medal match of the World Ice Hockey Championships Saturday, being shut out 4-0 by their Scandinavian rival.

Lackluster Swedes shut out by sharpshooting Finns

It marked the third consecutive medal for Finland at the Worlds to go with their silver earned last year and a bronze in 2006.

“The biggest thing is the Finns play as a team. They aren’t always the most talented team but they play a team system,” said Finnish coach Doug Shedden.

The game was a rematch of the 2006 Turin Olympic final which Sweden won 4-3.

Finland lost 4-0 to Russia and Sweden lost 5-4 to Canada in Friday’s semi-finals, setting the stage for Sunday’s gold medal game between Russia and Canada.

Niklas Backstrom made 36 saves in goal for Finland, who were outshot 36-13.

The Swedes swarmed the Finnish goal in the second period, outshooting Finland 11-2.

“We had a big disappointment yesterday,” Finnish forward Saku Koivu said.

“We had a lot of people watching the tournament back home and this is a big tournament for European countries.

“Obviously we didn’t want to lose to the Swedes.”

One of Backstrom’s best saves came in the second when he slid across his crease to rob Swedish defenceman Daniel Fernholm and then made two follow up saves in the same sequence.

“We didn’t get the bounces today,” Swedish forward Mattias Weinhandl said.

Antti Pihlstrom scored his team-leading fourth and fifth goals and Janne Niskala scored once for Finland, which last played in a bronze medal game against Sweden in 2002.

In that one, Finland built a 3-0 lead but the Swedes rallied to win 5-3.

Ironically, Stefan Liv was the goalie for Sweden in that game replacing starter Tommy Salo.

Liv also got the call here Saturday, replacing Swedish No. 1 Henrik Lundqvist, who struggled in the semi-final loss to Russia Friday and did not dress against Finland.

“It was a strange game. I didn’t face many shots,” Liv said.


Sweden’s Rasmus Dahlin first overall pick in NHL draft

Rasmus Dahlin became just the second Swedish-born player to be selected first overall in the NHL draft on Friday when the Buffalo Sabres used the top pick on the rangy teenage defenceman.

Sweden's Rasmus Dahlin first overall pick in NHL draft
Rasmus Dahlin is bound for Buffalo. Photo: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images/AFP
Dahlin, who plays for Frolunda HC in the Swedish league and was widely expected to be the first pick, follows Mats Sundin, who was the top choice of the Quebec Nordiques in 1989.
“I just want everything to start,” Dahlin said. “I'm going to bring everything I have to that city. I'm super excited. I can't wait.”
Russian forward Andrei Svechnikov went second to the Carolina Hurricanes and the Montreal Canadiens used the third pick to get Finnish centre Jesperi Kotkaniemi.
The draft had a decided Europe flavour as four of the top six players were Europeans. The first American was Brady Tkachuk who went to the Ottawa Senators at No. 4 and the Phoenix Coyotes took the first Canadian Barrett Hayton with the fifth pick. 
The 18-year-old Dahlin said he was happy to call Buffalo home despite the fact they haven't had a winning season in the past seven seasons and have missed the playoffs eight years in a row.
“It's amazing to finally put on the Buffalo Sabres' jersey,” Dahlin said. “I've been there twice. I love that city.”
The six-foot-three, 185-pound Dahlin was honoured as the best defenceman at the 2018 world junior championship in Buffalo, registering six assists in seven games. He also played twice for Sweden as a 17-year-old at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
At number six, the Detroit Red Wings chose the brash Halifax Mooseheads winger Filip Zadina who vowed to make teams that passed on him pay down the road.
“I'm telling my agent if they will pass on me, I will fill their net with the puck,” the Czech Zadina said. “Yeah, it's just I want to prove to them that they have done a bad decision.”
The lone trade of the day came before the draft when the Colorado Avalanche acquired backup goalie Philipp Grubauer and defenceman Brooks Orpik from the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals for the 47th pick. The Capitals were willing to get rid of Orpik and Grubauer so they could create salary cap space to sign free agents.