Finland wins it in OT
by Andrew Podnieks|10 JAN 2019
Finland scored late in regulation and again in overtime to beat Sweden and book a date for the semi-finals on Saturday against the U.S.
photo: Steve Kingsman / HHOF-IIHF Images
Elisa Holopainen scored at 5:34 of overtime to give Finland a stunning 3-2 win over Sweden and book one spot in the semi-finals against the United States.

For the Swedes, last year's silver medallists, the loss is crushing. They will now play in a 5th-6th place game on Saturday.

"I passed the puck to Kira [Yrjanen] and I was in full speed," Holopainen said. "She got the puck back to me, and I saw a lane to the net and I went for it. I managed to score!"

From the outside, the result is a significant upset, but not to the Finns. "We played them many times this season," Holopainen explained, "and we've been winning. We believed that if we worked together, we could win."

"We had a good start and worked ourselves into the game," Sweden coach Alexander Broms offered. "They got a power play and got the lead, but we were still strong. When we got the lead at the end, we talked about focus and controlling our emotions, but still, they're young and enthusiasm can take over."

"We had a goal of winning a medal," Broms continued, "and now that's not going to happen. It's a very empty feeling for everyone on the team. But you can never expect anything. Every country is good and every game is tight. It's hard to understand right now what went wrong."

The Swedes never recovered from the end of regulation. Gaining the lead late, they had a letdown and Finland seized a chance. Laitinen snapped a shot over the glove of Tindra Holm with 1:52 remaining to tie the game 2-2 and sent the game to overtime. 

The Swedes thought they were going to win the game after breaking a 1-1 tie late. Thea Johansson wired a shot from the top of the circle with 2:28 remaining, but their celebrations were short-lived. Just 36 seconds later, Laitinen tied the game.

"We knew we could tie the game," Holopainen enthused. "We just wanted to keep playing as a team and not give up."

Although shots were even, 8-8, the opening period was scoreless only because of Holm, who was great in the Sweden goal. Emilia Vesa made a nice play cutting to the goal, but her fine shot was kicked out by Holm’s right leg.
A short time later a giveaway by Nathalie Lidman in front of her own goal gave Sofia Nuutinen a close-in chance, but again Holm was right there.
And late in the period Jenna Kaila wired a shot from the slot but Holm had body position and made the save look easy.
The Finns continued to press and were rewarded in the second on the power play. Sanni Rantala scored at 2:54 to give her team a surprising lead, and they were full measure for it.
Nevertheless, the Swedes came that close to tying the game on their own man advantage situation. A long shot squirted through the equipment of goalie Erica Jaskari and came to a stop on the red line, against the post. Bad luck Sweden; good luck Finland.
Later, Lina Ljungblom got off a great shot off a cross-ice pass, but Jaskari was there once again. Late in the period, though, the Swedes finally tied the score. A shot by Emma Forsgren was kicked out by Jaskari, and Hanna Thuvik was perfectly stationed on the back side to snap the puck in at 18:44.

Both teams played cautiously in the third, knowing what was at stake, but that gave way to a wild ending and dramatic overtime.
Sweden vs. Finland (2019 IIHF WW18)