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HOCKEY

Sweden fall at Finnish hockey hurdle

Sweden were given a hockey lesson in their World Championship final clash with Finland on Sunday, with their Nordic neighbours coming back from a goal down to walk away wit the title 6-1 in the Bratislava arena.

Sweden fall at Finnish hockey hurdle

Janne Pesonen collected a goal and an assist, while ‘keeper Petri Vehanen produced 32 saves to grab the second world title for Finland.

“We proved that we’re strong and menthally tough team,” said Finland forward Leo Komarov.

“After the Swedes scored we didn’t panic, we were working hard and managed to come back with a five-goal streak in the third period.

“I think we won the championship deservedly. And I want to believe we will never need to wait for 16 more years for our next win.”

The rivals were playing against each other for the fourth time in a world championship final.

Finland, who won their only previous world gold in 1995, beating the Swedes on their home ice, fell behind in the second period when Magnus Paajarvi broke the deadlock firing in from the left face-off circle at 27:40.

The Finns levelled on powerplay with just seven seconds before the break through Jarkko Immonen, who scored his ninth goal here to grab the lead in the goal scorers contest.

Petteri Nokelainen and Niko Kapanen gave Finland a comfortable 3-1 lead, one minute into the third period.

Pesonen, Mika Pyorala and Anti Pihlstrom added further goals late in the third to complete the victory, sending Finland supporters into a celebration of their team’s first world title in 16 years.

“It’s a very sad and disappointing day for me,” Sweden’s Patrik Berglund said. “We were in command, we were leading the score. I just don’t understand what has happened. We completely lost control. It sucks to lose this way.”

Earlier on Sunday the Czech Republic outscored Russia 7-4 in the highest-scoring bronze medal match in the history of the event.

It was the Czechs’ fourth bronze medal at world championship level.

Roman Cervenka collected two goals and two assists, while goalie Ondrej Pavelec produced 39 saves to give the Czechs a 8-6 lead in their head-to-head meetings with Russia at the worlds.

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HOCKEY

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.