UFA, Russia, January 3 (R-Sport) - Reigning champion Sweden snatched a 3-2 shootout win over Russia to make the final at the world junior hockey championships on Thursday.
The Swedes will defend their title Saturday against the United States, which smashed Canada 5-1 earlier in the day, with both teams aiming for their third title.
The final will be only the third since 1981 not to feature Russia or Canada.
Sweden defeated Russia in the playoffs for the second year in a row winning 1-0 in last year's final in Canada.
Russia started the game slowly with only two shots in the first period as Sweden marched into a 2-0 lead from 14 shots.
Forward Elias Lindholm scored the opener on seven minutes on a power-play before NHL first-round draft pick Filip Forsberg doubled the lead three minutes later, hitting the top corner of Andrey Vasilevsky’s goal.
Russia began its battle back into the game in the second period when defenseman Andrei Mironov scored with a deflected shot from the blue line.
The host team equalized in the third when Mikhail Grigorenko was first to Yaroslav Kosov’s rebounding shot and squeezed the puck into the net.
After 10 scoreless minutes of overtime, an accurate penalty shot from Montreal Canadiens prospect Sebastian Collberg and a flawless performance by goaltender Niklas Lundstrom gave Sweden the victory.