Loui Eriksson scored power-play goals in each of the first two periods as Sweden beat Finland 3-0 on Sunday night in a rematch of the Turin Games final.
Henrik Lundqvist had a 20-save shutout for the defending Olympic champion and Nicklas Bäckström scored the second goal, helping the Swedes win their group and earn a bye to the quarterfinals Wednesday as the second-seeded team.
“Our best game by far,” captain Nicklas Lidström said.
“We start over again,” Lundqvist said. “It doesn’t really matter what we did this week. It’s going to be exciting.”
Sweden and the U.S. were the only teams to win all their games in regulation, but the Americans secured top seeding thanks to a better goal differential.
That puts the Swedes in the side of the draw that includes Canada and Russia. First up is a quarterfinal against either Slovakia or Norway.
“Before we face one of those two teams we have to beat another team,” Sweden coach Bengt-Åke Gustafsson said. “It’s not going to be an easy one in the quarterfinal.”
Miikka Kiprusoff made 29 saves for the Finns, who became the fourth-seeded team in the quarterfinals and will face the Czech Republic or Latvia in the quarterfinals.
“If you have to lose one game, this is the one,” Finn forward Teemu Selänne said. “Now, the tournament starts.”
Selänne insisted he did not know the Finns sealed a bye before the game began, but said that was not of much consolation.
“I’m worried that we have to play better,” Selänne said. “We play like we did today, we have no chance.”
Swede forward Johan Franzén said the Finns didn’t look very motivated.
“They didn’t come out as hard as they can,” Franzén said.
The lacklustre game was a letdown on what was dubbed hockey’s “Super Sunday” after the first two games lived up to the hype. The United States upset the host Canadians and Russia beat the Czechs in highly entertaining games.
Sweden played its best game in the final of 18 preliminary games and Finland had its worst.
The Swedes beat Germany and Belarus by two goals each while the Finns routed those weak opponents by a combined score of 10-1.
That spoiled Sweden’s bid to become the top-seeded team when the final eight teams match up on Wednesday.
The rival Swedes and Finns didn’t have a thriller as they did four years ago – when Sweden won gold with a 3-2 victory – but they did throw bodies and elbows around.
Finland’s Joni Pitkänen was ejected with a game-misconduct penalty late in the second period for a high hit on Patric Hörnqvist and will be suspended for the quarterfinals. Hörnqvist crumpled to the ice and needed to be helped off the ice before walking slowly toward the dressing room.
Hörnqvist had been penalized for tripping earlier. Sweden’s Niklas Kronwall got away with a vicious, open-ice hit on Niklas Hagman without a penalty.
The Finns had chances to get even on the scoreboard with a pair of 5-on-3 power plays in the second period, but got only one shot off during each opportunity.
Finland has not beaten Sweden at the Olympics since the quarterfinals of 1998 Nagano Games.
00:31 – 🇸🇪 PEN – H. Sedin, tripping
04:58 – 🇫🇮 PEN – Timonen, interference
06:07 – 🇫🇮 PEN – Pitkänen, tripping
06:41 – 🇸🇪 PP2 GOAL – Eriksson (Bäckström, Johansson)
16:23 – 🇫🇮 PEN – S. Koivu, hooking
19:01 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Hörnqvist, tripping
24:19 – 🇸🇪 GOAL – Bäckström (D. Sedin)
25:37 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Forsberg, holding
31:14 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Lidström, tripping
32:42 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Franzén, tripping
33:36 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Öhlund, interference
36:25 – 🇫🇮 PEN – Lepistö, tripping
38:08 – 🇸🇪 PP GOAL – Eriksson (Franzen, Bäckström)
39:11 – 🇫🇮 PEN – Pitkänen, checking to the head game misconduct
53:26 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Tallinder, cross checking
W: 🇸🇪 Lundqvist (20-20)
L: 🇫🇮 Kiprusoff (29-32)
SHOTS ON GOAL
🇸🇪 16+8+8 = 32
🇫🇮 5+10+5 = 20
🇸🇪 Goaltenders: Jonas Gustavsson, Henrik Lundqvist. Defence: Tobias Enström, Magnus Johansson, Niklas Kronwall, Nicklas Lidström (C), Douglas Murray, Johnny Oduya, Henrik Tallinder, Mattias Öhlund. Forwards: Daniel Alfredsson (A), Nicklas Bäckström, Loui Eriksson, Peter Forsberg, Johan Franzén, Patric Hörnqvist, Fredrik Modin, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Mattias Weinhandl, Henrik Zetterberg (A).
🇫🇮 Goaltenders: Niklas Bäckström, Miikka Kiprusoff. Defence: Lasse Kukkonen, Sami Lepistö, Toni Lydman, Janne Niskala, Joni Pitkänen, Sami Salo, Kimmo Timonen (A). Forwards: Valtteri Filppula, Niklas Hagman, Jarkko Immonen, Olli Jokinen, Niko Kapanen, Mikko Koivu, Saku Koivu (C), Jere Lehtinen, Antti Miettinen, Ville Peltonen, Jarkko Ruutu, Tuomo Ruutu, Teemu Selänne (A).
|🇸🇪 SWEDEN||vs.||FINLAND (C) 🇫🇮|
(previous 07 Nov 2009)
(since 19 Dec 2009)
(+ 11 ties)
|First IHLC Meeting (SWE vs. FIN)
🇸🇪 SWE 12-1 FIN 🇫🇮 – 12 Feb 1949 – WC – Stockholm 🇸🇪
|Previous IHLC Meeting (SWE vs. FIN)
🇫🇮 FIN 4-3 SWE 🇸🇪 (SO) – 20 Dec 2009 – COC – Moscow 🇷🇺
|Last IHLC Game
🇫🇮 FIN 5-0 GER 🇩🇪 – 19 Feb 2010 – OG – Vancouver 🇨🇦
|Next IHLC Game
🇸🇰 SVK 4-3 SWE 🇸🇪 – 24 Feb 2010 – OG – Vancouver 🇨🇦