IIHF Press Release
Click here for complete statistics & scores from World U18 Championship
Finland hung on for a 4-3 win against Sweden at the U18 Championship after a dramatic finale in Halmstad.
The rival squads combined for two goals in the final minute of play. Sweden’s Patrick Berglund started the flurry of activity with 5:53 left in the game to make it a 3-2 game. Unfazed by the goal, Finland restored its two-goal pad with 46 seconds left in the game and seemed to have the victory sealed.
But Sweden’s Eric Moe injected more drama into the last minute, scoring with 20 seconds left to once again get Sweden to within one. Sweden pulled its goaltender for the final 20 seconds, but was unable to net the equalizer as Finland escaped with its second win of the championship.
Just like in their first game, the speedy Finnish squad jumped out to a strong start, but slowed offensively as the game went on. A mere 1:19 into the game Max Warn gave Finland a 1-0 lead. The lead doubled at the 14:16 mark when Finland’s Robert Nyholm took advantage of a power play.
Finland closed its solid first period with a third goal when Jan-Mikael Jarvinen threaded a pass through the crease to Joonas Jalvanti who put in the one-timer. Overall, the Finns dominated the period, out-shooting Sweden 21-4.
But like yesterday’s match against Slovakia, the Finns started to run out of steam as the game progressed. Sweden put more pressure on the Finnish net registering three-times more shots than in the first. The effort was rewarded with a five-hole goal just as time expired on the power-play to make it a 3-1 game after 40 minutes setting up the final period showdown.
Finland now has two wins in two games, while the Swedes have a split 1-0-1 record in the B Group.
The score might have been a little closer than the Czech Republic would have liked, but in they were able to earn a valuable two points with a 5-2 win over Belarus.
The Czechs held a slim 1-0 lead at the end of the first period after David Ruzicka scored on the power play. After the sluggish start, the Czechs sparked to life in the opening five minutes of the second, netting two goals that came 14 seconds apart to climb ahead to healthy 3-0 lead.
A power play goal by Belarus’ Aliaksandr Syrei midway through the second stalled the Czech momentum. But it was only a temporary halt as Martin Latal restored the three-goal Czech lead towards the end of the period.
Belarus came out strong in the third period, netting a second goal 1:56 into the period and playing the Czechs strongly for the first half. Midway through the period Czech Republic’s Michael Frolik missed a penalty shot, but instead of capitalizing on the missed chance, Belarus soon found itself in penalty troubles, opening the door for the Czechs to seal the game. Ironically, it was Frolik who scored the decisive 5-2 goal for the Czechs in the last five minutes to seal the win.
The Czech Republic is now 2-0-0 in the A Group, while Belarus is winless in its first two games.