Sundqvist, Sweden hang on to reach WJHC final

Oskar Sundqvist scored the game-winning goal in the third period to give Sweden a 2-1 win over Russia. (Ludvig Thunman/AP)

MALMO, Sweden — Oskar Sundqvist scored the game-winning goal early in the third period to give Sweden a 2-1 win over Russia in semifinal play Saturday at the world junior hockey championship.


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The host side will play Finland in the gold-medal game Sunday at Malmo Arena. Finland advanced with a 5-1 win over Canada in the other semifinal.

"It’s a dream final for us — Finland and Sweden," Finnish forward Henri Ikonen said. "It’s a great rivalry. Young players like ourselves can’t imagine a better situation than that. Hopefully, I can sleep well tonight."

Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg also scored for Sweden.

"It was a tough game, but today we were the better team," Swedish coach Christian Djoos said.

Damir Zhafyarov had the lone goal for the Russians, who will play Canada for bronze on Sunday.

"We were disappointed not to win, but that’s life," Zhafyarov said. "These things happen in hockey, but we’ll be ready to fight for the bronze medal tomorrow."

Oscar Dansk made 26 saves for the Swedes, who were outshot 27-21.

"He was unbelievable," backup goalie Andreas Johnson said about Dansk, who plays for the Erie Otters in the Ontario Hockey League. "He made some pretty sick saves. He was great."

Sweden won gold in 2012 and took silver last year in Ufa, Russia. In round-robin play, Sweden beat Finland 4-2.

Finland won the last of its two titles in 1998. Sweden, 6-0-0 in the tournament, is seeking its third title and second in three years.

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