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CANADA

Sweden ousts Canada in dramatic hockey win

Sweden edged Olympic champions Canada 3-2 in a penalty shootout on Thursday night to set up semi-final clash against arch rivals Finland at the ice hockey World Championships.

Sweden ousts Canada in dramatic hockey win

“I’m really happy,” Sweden coach Per Mårts told the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) website after the game.

“They are a tough team to beat. We knew we had to play our best game of the tournament. Today everything worked well. I’m happy for Swedish hockey because you have to play for the medals in your home tournament.”

After a goalless first period at Stockholm’s Ericsson Globe Arena, Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos put Canada into the lead with his powerplay goal 45 seconds into the second period.

The score came at the tail end of a five-minute powerplay that started at the end of the first period after Sweden’s Alexander Edler was handed a major penalty and a game misconduct for a knee-on-knee hit on Canada’s captain Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes, who was forced from the ice with a knee injury.

The Canadians thought they had extended their lead at the closing buzzer of the second period, but officials later ruled the puck had crossed the goal line after time had expired, allowing Sweden to head into the third period down by only one goal.

In the third period, the Swedes jumped into the lead courtesy of a double by Nicklas Danielsson, who scored both goals with powerful shots from the blue line also on powerplays.

But Philadelphia Flyers right wing Claude Giroux made it 2-2 with nine minutes remaining in the third period, sending the game into overtime.

After a scoreless extra period, the teams were forced into a penalty shootout.

Canada missed its first shot, with Sweden’s Loui Eriksson then finding the back of the net.

In the second shootout round, Canada put one past Sweden’s goalie Jhonas Enroth, but then Swedish star forward Henrik Sedin failed to score.

In the third round, Enroth made a great save, giving Sweden’s Daniel Sedin a chance to seal the victory, but he also missed.

Sweden’s Fredrik Pettersson then unleashed a howling slapshot from close range that sailed past Canada goalie Mike Smith, and after Canada’s final shooter, Jordan Eberle, shot wide, Sweden celebrated their hard fought victory.

“I knew exactly what I was going to do,” Pettersson told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

“I had thought about shooting to the right, but I saw that he shifted over and so I moved over, shot left and with more power instead of trying to place it.”

Sweden will play Finland in a semi-final on Saturday in hopes of reaching Sunday’s gold medal game in Stockholm.

In the other semi-final, undefeated Switzerland plays Team USA, which humiliated defending champions Russia 8-3.

AFP/The Local/dl

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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.