It took 60 minutes of regulation play, 10 minutes of extra time and a 17-play shootout, however the Russian staff on Friday locked down an opportunity to win a second straight gold medal in males’s hockey on the Olympics.
Russia defeated Sweden, 2-1, after a grinding shootout and clinched a berth within the duel for the Olympic title on Sunday. Earlier within the day, Finland beat Slovakia, 2-0.
Loads of video games in Beijing have lacked theatrics or chaos. Then got here the assembly between the Swedes and the Russians.
The Russian staff picked up a purpose early within the second interval off the stick of Anton Slepyshev, a ahead enjoying in his first Olympics. Sweden evened the rating with a shot from Anton Lander within the opening minutes of the third — sufficient, it could prove, to vault the sport into extra time.
However extra time didn’t yield a game-winning purpose, main the groups to the agony and nerves of a shootout.
There have been saves, misses, a misplaced puck and even some targets. It was solely on the seventeenth strive of the shootout, although, that Arseni Gritsyuk flicked the puck into the web for the purpose that sealed the Russian victory and stirred a swarm of males in crimson jerseys onto the ice at Nationwide Indoor Stadium.
“Truthfully, it was actually nerve-racking,” mentioned Mikhail Grigorenko, a Russian ahead. However he added that he was not stunned by the closeness of the competition.
“We knew it was not going to be a high-scoring sport,” he mentioned.
The day’s first semifinal provided far much less suspense. However by the top of the weekend, Finland and Slovakia can have, on the very least, matched their greatest showings in Olympic males’s hockey.
The Finns, who’ve gained two silver medals within the sport however by no means captured an Olympic title, received the lone purpose they wanted to advance within the first interval, when Sakari Manninen scored about 4 minutes earlier than the intermission.
“We get a shot from the blue line, guys in entrance of the web, little ideas, after which there’s a rebound, after which there’s all the time a harmful likelihood to attain,” Manninen mentioned.
The Slovak staff, which beat the top-seeded U.S. squad on Wednesday, might earn its first Olympic medal in males’s hockey when it performs for bronze on Saturday. It didn’t give up the second rating till lower than a minute remained within the sport and after it had pulled its goalie.
Finland’s netminder, Harri Sateri, recorded 28 saves.
“We had them beneath a whole lot of strain however couldn’t rating,” mentioned Marek Hrivik, the Slovak ahead whose late purpose on Wednesday compelled the quarterfinal sport towards the People to extra time.