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ICE HOCKEY

Swedes to face Finland in ice hockey final

Sweden reached its first ice hockey World Cup Final in ice hockey in five years on Saturday, following a comprehensive victory over the Czech Republic.

The ” Three Crowns” will meet Finland in the final on Sunday after beating the reigning champions 5-2 in a thrilling semi-final on Friday. It was a particularly satisfying outcome for coach Pär Marts after the disappintment of four consecutive defeats at the semi final stage.

“I think we were in control right from the start, we deservedly won in style. I’m really pleased” said Marts to AFP.

In Sunday’s final in Bratislava the Swedes will meet old foes Finland who defeated Russia in the other semi yesterday. Sweden-Finalnd will be seen by many as a dream final and give the Finns a long awaited opportunity for revenge, following Sweden’s victory in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, the last time the two sides met in a final.

To meet Sweden is always a bit special, even more so that it is in the final,” Finnish defender Pasi Puistola, who plays for Swedish side HV71, said to Expressen.

“Losing this match is not an option for us .”

Sweden reached the final after a hard-faught victory over the Czechs. They went behind early in the second period before gradually taking control of the game and storming into an unassailable 4-1 lead.

When the Czechs reduced the deficit late on, it was fitting that man-of-the-match Patrik Berglund scored the game’s final goal.

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SPORT

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.”