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Co-hosts Sweden will meet surprise package Switzerland in Sunday’s final of the world ice hockey championships following respective wins over Finland and the USA.
Sweden thrilled the home crowd in Stockholm on Saturday when they beat arch rivals and fellow co-hosts Finland 3-0 to progress to the competition’s showpiece match.
Finland had scored 27 times in their first eight games but found no way through their opponent’s defense as Swedish netminder Jhonas Enroth enjoyed his second shutout of the tournament.
Sweden also got the upper hand in the offence department during the tight tussle in the Swedish capital.
Henrik Sedin earned two assists as Loui Eriksson scored the opening two goals.
Sedin deservedly got on the scoresheet himself in the final minute to seal the 3-0 win with an empty netter.
The Swedes are now into the final for the second time in three years but are hunting their first title since thrashing Czech Republic en route to gold in 2006.
Switzerland booked their spot in the final after stunning the USA 3-0 in their semi-final.
New York Islanders prospect Nino Niederreiter opened the scoring in the second period.
He took full advantage of a 2-on-1 break: After Martin Plüss delivered a perfectly timed pass Niederreiter blasted a wrist shot past 19-year-old goalie John Gibson to draw first blood.
Julian Walker handed the unbeaten Swiss their second goal in the third period after latching on to a Phillipe Furrer assist that put the game almost out of sight of the Americans.
With under two minutes remaining Team USA pulled goalie Gibson for an extra skater but it soon backfired as Reto Suri completed the 3-0 victory for the Swiss, whose last medal at the Worlds was a bronze in 1953 – they are now assured of going at least one better this year.