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Granlund's lacrosse goal gets him a postage stamp in Finland

The Canadian Press

5/27/2011 11:59:42 AM

HELSINKI, Finland -- The most memorable moment of the recent IIHF World Hockey Championship has been commemorated with a postage stamp in Finland.

Mikael Granlund's lacrosse-style goal against Russia in the semifinals was a pivotal moment for the Finnish team on the way to the country's second ever world championship.

The Minnesota Wild draft pick lifted the puck on his stick behind the net and quickly shovelled it past surprised goaltender Konstantin Barulin -- an image that was captured nicely on a first-class Finnish stamp.

That goal started Finland on the way to a 3-0 semifinal victory over the Russians. They ended up beating Scandinavian neighbour Sweden 6-1 in the final and moved to No. 3 in the world rankings, one spot ahead of Canada.

The victory was extremely popular back home. The Finnish Air Force sent a Hornet F-18 jet to escort the team plane back from the tournament in Slovakia and tens of thousands of flag-waving fans welcomed them on the streets of Helsinki.

The 19-year-old Granland was selected ninth overall in last year's NHL draft and is expected to play one more season of pro hockey in Finland before joining the Wild.