Loui Eriksson scored on his only shot of the day for Team Sweden, and teammate Erik Karlsson added a power-play goal five minutes later to propel the top-seeded Swedes to a 2-1 win over Finland on Friday in the 2014 Olympic hockey semifinals.
Finland, which had defeated host nation Russia in the quarterfinals two days earlier, was thrown for a loop shortly before puck drop when Eriksson’s Boston Bruins teammate, goalie Tuukka Rask, was ruled out of the game because of illness.
Dallas Stars netminder Kari Lehtonen started in Rask’s place and played well, stopping 23 of 25 shots, but Finland could only get one puck past Swedish goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist has been the driving force in this tournament for Sweden, which has gone undefeated despite losing three of its top scorers to injury.
Eriksson’s goal was the Bruins winger’s third point in two games after being held scoreless for the entirety of the preliminary round.
Olli Jokinen scored the lone goal of the game for Finland, which will play the loser of Friday’s second semifinal between the United States and Canada in the bronze medal game Saturday.
With the win, the Swedes will play for the gold medal Sunday for the second time in three Olympics. They’ll take on the winner of U.S.-Canada.
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