HENRIKSSON SCORES LATE, SWEDES TO PLAY FOR GOLD
JASON LA ROSE
EDMONTON, Alta. – Karl Henriksson scored the game-winning goal with 44 seconds to go, sending Sweden past Russia 2-1 on Friday afternoon and into the gold medal game at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
With the seconds ticking away, Lucas Raymond gathered in a clearing attempt on the half-boards and went cross-ice to Henriksson, who rifled a shot off the post and in on the short side of Russian goaltender Yaroslav Askarov.
Philip Broberg had the other goal for the Swedes, who are into the gold medal game at the annual summer under-18 tournament for the first time since 2015.
They will play for their second summer U18 gold (and first since 2007) against Canada or the United States on Saturday night (7 p.m. MT).
The first 40 minutes belonged to Askarov and Swedish counterpart Hugo Alnefelt, who went save-for-save to get the game to the second intermission scoreless.
Alnefelt was the busier of the two, particularly in the first period when Russia held a 12-2 advantage in shots. His best save came on a late-period Russian power play when he stretched out his right pad after a redirection in the slot.
Broberg almost opened the scoring early in the third period when he danced his way to the net and tucked a shot behind Askarov, only to have it hit the post and ricochet back into the Russian netminder.
The defenceman finally broke through just past the five-minute mark on a Swedish man advantage when his wrist shot from the point worked its way through a maze of bodies and past Askarov.
That goal looked to be all the Swedes needed, but Vasili Podkolzin tied the game with 1:54 remaining; the Russian captain split the defence and from his knees got a backhand over Alnefelt to make it 1-1, setting up Henriksson’s heroics shortly after.
Russia finished with a 35-19 edge in shots on goal, but will play for bronze against the loser of the Canada-U.S. semifinal on Saturday afternoon (3 p.m. MT).