Swedes beat Finland to reach hockey last eight

Sweden clinched a place in the last eight of the Vancouver Winter Olympic

Swedes beat Finland to reach hockey last eight

hockey tournament with a 3-0 win over Finland on Sunday evening.

Louis Eriksson scored two power-play goals for the defending champions Sweden who joined Russia and the United States as group winners and thus will not have to play again until Wednesday with each only three triumphs from a gold medal.

Despite the defeat, Finland also booked a place in the final eight as the top second-place team in round-robin group play, edging the Czech Republic on goal difference.

The outcome set final pairings for the knockout playoff rounds that begin Tuesday, when Canada will face Germany for the right to face fellow pre-tournament favorite Russia in a Wednesday quarter-final between powerhouse lineups.

Also on Tuesday, Slovakia will play Norway for the chance to face Sweden in the quarter-finals, Belarus will meet Switzerland for the right to meet the Americans and the Czechs will play Latvia for a last-eight date with Finland.

Eriksson opened the scoring 6:41 into the game when the Swedes enjoyed a two-man advantage thanks to Finland penalties.

Nicklas Bäckström, a National Hockey League teammate of Russian star Alex Ovechkin on the Washington Capitals, ripped a wrist shot into the top far corner of the goal to boost Sweden’s edge 4:19 into the second period.

Eriksson struck again with 1:52 remaining in the second, skating around sprawled Finnish goaltender Mikka Kiprusoff and sliding the puck into the far corner of the open goal to give the Swedes their final goal.

Finland’s frustration boiled over when Joni Pitkanen received a five-minute penalty and game misconduct for a hit to the head on Sweden’s Patric Hörnqvist, who was taken to the locker room.

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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.