Canada 3 Sweden 1
BERN, Switzerland — Canada is in a position to get some revenge at the IIHF World Hockey Championship.
Derek Roy’s two goals and Dwayne Roloson’s 25 saves gave the Canadians a 3-1 semifinal win over Sweden on Friday and set up a rematch with Russia in the tournament’s gold medal game.
The two teams have been on a collision course since the event began two weeks ago and will play for the championship on Sunday. It’s the second straight year that’s happened — Russia beat Canada in overtime to win the title last year in Quebec City.
Canada is coming off its strongest performance of the tournament as it played an extremely patient semifinal game and neutralized the Swedish attack, never really leaving the outcome in doubt.
Shawn Horcoff had the other goal for Canada while Loui Eriksson replied for Sweden.
In the early semifinal, Konstantin Gorovikov scored with 1:47 remaining to give Russia a 3-2 victory over the surprising Americans. The U.S. will be looking for just its third medal at this event in 47 years when it plays Sweden for the bronze on Sunday.
Canadian coach Lindy Ruff made some bold decisions for his team’s semifinal game, electing to start Roloson in net over quarter-final winner Chris Mason and tinkering with his top two lines.
The latter move paid off almost immediately as Roy scored on one of his first shifts of the tournament with Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos. The goal would never have been possible without St. Louis, the little dynamo sending a backhand pass off the back of the net before Roy lifted the puck over a stunned Jonas Gustavsson at 6:51 of the first period.
“That play that St. Louis and Roy made, it was a great play,” Ruff told TSN.
It was the early goal the Canadian team badly needed after slow starts in its past two games.
Roloson started rewarding Ruff’s faith in him early in the middle frame. That’s when the Swedes grabbed some momentum and generated a few quality chances, the best being a hard one-timer from Rickard Wallin that Roloson nabbed with his glove.
“Dwayne was strong,” said Ruff. “Didn’t make any mistakes and gave us the big save when we needed it.”
Less than a minute later, Horcoff got his first goal of the world championship. He’s been excellent in a defensive role here, but looked pretty relieved after Mike Fisher made a nice move to beat a Swedish player and fed him in front.
Suddenly, the Swedes were reeling and Anton Stralman only made matters worse when he was called for tripping. The penalty lasted just 15 seconds before Roy cruised in front and scored his second of the night on a rebound at 10:38.
Gustavsson — dubbed “The Monster” after a sensational run through playoffs with his Swedish club team — couldn’t really be faulted for any of the goals he allowed. However, he didn’t make any game-saving stops either.
The 3-0 lead was more than enough for Roloson.
Eriksson made a nice play to outwait the Canadian goalie before firing the puck over him at 6:14 of the third period, but that was all Sweden would get.
They’re now off to another bronze medal game after losing in the semifinals to Canada for the third straight year. The Canadians, meanwhile, will go for the country’s 25th world championship gold.