Swedes beats Finland in rough quarterfinal of women's hockey

2/15/2014 6:06:07 AM
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Emma Eliasson scored with 4:15 to play and Sweden beat defending bronze medalist Finland 4-2 in the Olympic women's hockey quarter-finals Saturday -- a reversal of the result from the third-place game four years ago.

Valentina Wallner made 29 saves for Sweden, which will play the United States in the semifinals. Finland, the No. 3 seed in the world, drops to the classification bracket and can finish no better than fifth.

Two-time NCAA champion Noora Raty made 28 saves for Finland. But she could not see Eliasson's slapshot from the blue line that held up as the game-winner.

The game was a rough one for women's hockey, which does not allow the body-checking that would be familiar to fans of the NHL or the men's international game. Finland's Nina Tikkinen was cross-checked to the ice in front of the Sweden net, banging her head on the ice as she landed, and a skirmish at the other end led to four-minute roughing penalties for Minttu Tuominen of Finland and Erika Grahm of Sweden.

Finland took the lead 13 minutes into the second when Wallner stopped Linda Valimaki's shot with her blocker but left it in front for Venla Hovi. Sweden tied it on a power-play goal early in the second period when Anna Borgqvist's shot deflected off a defenceman's stick and the tip of Raty's skate into the net.

Lina Wester gave Sweden the lead with 14:51 left in the third, but Finland tied it just 12 seconds later when Karoliina Rantamaki dug the puck out from behind the net and passed it in front to Emma Nuutinen. Sweden took a 3-2 lead on Eliasson's power-play goal and Emma Nordin added an empty-netter.

Team Sweden celebrates (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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