Finland blanks Sweden for bronze medal
Antti Pihlstrom and Janne Niskala scored in the first period and Niklas Backstrom made 36 saves for the shutout as Finland defeated rival Sweden 4-0 on Saturday to win the bronze medal at the IIHF world hockey championship.
Pihlstrom added his second of the game and fifth of the tournament in the third period and Mikko Koivu had an empty-net goal for Finland, which was outshot 36-13 before 12,009 spectators at the Pepsi Colisée in Quebec City.
Finland, beaten 4-0 by Russia on Friday in the semifinals, has won a medal at three consecutive world championships, taking silver last year and bronze in 2006.
Sweden, 5-4 losers to Canada in the semifinals, lost a second consecutive world championship bronze medal game after falling 3-1 to Russia in Moscow a year ago. Sweden's fourth place finish in the tournament also puts Canada back into the No.1 spot in IIHF rankings.
A sleepy first period perked up when Pihlstrom opened the scoring at 11:31, redirecting the puck in from the slot after Niko Kapanen partially fanned on a shot from the left circle.
Stefan Liv, the surprise starter in the Swedish net ahead of Henrik Lundqvist and Mikael Tellqvist, was beaten cleanly on a seeing-eye wrist shot from the point to the top corner by Niskala at 13:44.