Kulich scores in OT as Czech Republic beats Sweden to reach world junior final
Jiricek ties game for Czechs with 39 seconds remaining in regulation
David Jiricek tied the game with 39 seconds remaining in regulation and Jiri Kulich scored in overtime Wednesday as the Czech Republic came back to beat Sweden 2-1 and advance to the final of the world junior hockey championship in Halifax.
Ludvig Jansson scored in the second period for Sweden, which appeared poised to advance to the gold-medal game for the first time since 2018.
Jiricek gave the Czech Republic life when he ripped a shot from just outside the left face-off circle past Swedish goalie Carl Lindbom with time winding down.
Kulich sent the Czech Republic to the tournament final when he skated in from the right side and beat Lindbom 9:10 into the extra frame for his fifth goal of the tournament.
CZECHIA IS PLAYING FOR GOLD FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2001!!!<br><br>🇨🇿 <a href="https://twitter.com/narodnitym?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@narodnitym</a> wins semi-final in overtime over 🇸🇪 <a href="https://twitter.com/Trekronorse?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Trekronorse</a> as <a href="https://twitter.com/Kulda151?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Kulda151</a> is the hero. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldJuniors?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldJuniors</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CZESWE?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CZESWE</a> <a href="https://t.co/EtkhW34Bqb">pic.twitter.com/EtkhW34Bqb</a>—@IIHFHockey
Tomas Suchanek made 21 saves for the Czechs, while Lindbom stopped 29 shots for Sweden.
The Czech Republic advanced to the gold-medal game for the first time since winning back-to-back titles in 2000 and 2001.
Earlier Wednesday, Latvia beat Austria 4-2 to sweep the best-of-three relegation series.