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Monday, January 3, 2011

Russia does it

It took a shootout goal by Denis Golubev, but Russia beat Sweden in the semifinal by a 4-3 score.

Sweden had the lead in the final two minutes after scoring three unanswered goals, but none of the Tre Kronor's shooters could get the puck past Dmitri Shikin (we saw some real curious/poor shot selection on their part).

Candidate for top pick in 2011 defenseman Adam Larsson figured in all three goals for Sweden, scoring the first late in the 2nd period and then assisting on the others. Even though they won't play for gold, Larsson helped his team and his draft stock with a very strong tourney.

I'm sure the Canadians aren't shedding any tears for Sweden's loss-- their coach stepped in it by backhanding Canada in the wake of the shootout win Friday. Now, we know about the old saying about what goes around coming around.

Unimpressed with Ronnberg's choices for the shootout, either. Why wasn't Calle Jarnkrok out there? Jesper Fasth? I know it's easy to second guess, but he chose three guys who were about as unimaginative as it gets. Especially captain Anton Lander with the game on the line, shooting from the outside instead of trying the deke and hitting the post. Weak. Sauce.

And the inconsolable Swedes get a lesson in humility...Russia got it done with another herculean effort late to pull even. Sweden beat the Russians 2-0 in preliminary play, but if not for Robin Lehner, that game could have just as easily been 3-2, Russia. Now, Sweden finds out what it feels like to go 4-0 in the preliminary round, but failing to earn a spot in the gold medal dance.

We can only hope that Team USA isn't sharing the feeling later tonight.

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