Sweden to defend world junior gold against U.S.
Sebastien Collberg scores shootout winner against Russia
Sweden rebounded from a blown two-goal lead Thursday to beat Russia, and will have a chance to win a second consecutive gold medal at the world junior hockey championship.
Sebastien Collberg lifted a backhand under the crossbar in the shootout to seal a 3-2 victory in Ufa, Russia, after goaltender Niklas Lundstrom denied Mikhail Grigorenko, Nail Yakupov and Nikita Kucherov.
Sweden plays the United States for gold on Saturday (8 a.m. ET) after the Americans posted a 5-1 victory in a dominating performance against Canada in Thursday’s other semifinal.
Sweden downed the Russians 1-0 in overtime in the 2012 final in Calgary on a goal by Ottawa Senators prospect Mika Zinbanejad.
On Thursday, Lundstrom was strong in overtime, making several stops and denying Yakupov from in close with 1.2 seconds left on the clock.
Grigorenko forced OT with a goal at 7:56 of the third period, backhanding the puck between the post and Lundstrom’s left skate.
Russia had overcome a sluggish first period in which it was overwhelmed by the Swedes, falling behind 2-0 on goals by Elias Lindholm and Filip Forsberg and mustering just two shots on goal.
Andrei Mironov had the other Russian goal.
Defenceman Tom Nilsson, a Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick, was named player of the game for Sweden while forward Alexander Khokhlachyov captured the honours for Russia.
Elsewhere Thursday, Slovakia scored twice in the final six minutes of regulation to pull out a 5-3 win over winless Latvia (0-5) in a regulation round game.