World Junior Hockey Championships: Canada and Sweden Go to the Finals

Francois GendronSenior Writer IJanuary 3, 2009

Team Sweden defeated the Cinderella team of the tournament, Team Slovakia, in the first semifinal of the day to qualify for the final.

Team Canada faced Team Russia tonight in the second semifinal and both teams gave a glorious show to hockey fans attending and watching on television. Both teams exchanged goals during the course of the game, as penalties cost quite a few goals in this one.

The game really got alive when Angelo Esposito scored while Canada was playing short of a player to give a 4-3 lead to Canada. Team Russia scored twice and took the lead with mere seconds over two minutes to play in the third period. Things looked grim for Canada who was suddenly down 5-4 with time winding down.

Aggressive fore checking gave Canada a few possessions in Russia's zone. Holding on at the blue line for a clear by the Russian defense, Canada sent a shot towards the net. With only five seconds to go to the game, Jordan Eberle tied the game at 5-5 when a Russian defenseman tried to freeze the puck with his hands in front of his own net. The puck was deflected to the favor of the Canadian player and to the delight of the home crowd in attendance.

The winner of the contest was decided in a shootout session after a scoreless overtime period. Canada's first two attempts during the shootout session were successful while the Canadian goaltender blocked the first two Russian players.

Final score: Canada 6 - Russia 5 (shootout)

Team Canada will play Team Sweden Monday in the gold medal match while Team Russia will play out the cinderella Team Slovakia in the bronze medal match also on Monday.

(Picture: Canadian Press.)

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