As intended, today's two semifinal match-ups featured the four best hockey countries in the world: Sweden-Finland in the early game, Canada-USA in the other. Sweden advanced to the Gold Medal game thanks to strong goaltending and timely scoring, while Finland will have to settle for a shot at third.
Meanwhile, Canada rode an impressive performance by Carey Price and the blueline to a narrow 1-0 win over the United States. Tomorrow will be the Bronze Medal game while the Gold Medal game will be played Sunday before the closing ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Sweden vs. Finland
- Olli Jokinen (Vatenen) - 6:17 in the 2nd
- Loui Eriksson (2) (Ericcson, Backstrom) - 11:39 in the 2nd
- Erik Karlsson (4) (Steen, D. Sedin) - 16:26 in the 2nd (PPG)
The Swedes won a game in which Phoenix's Oliver Ekman-Larsson did not play. Former Coyote Olli Jokinen scored the lone goal for Finland in the early going, and back to back goals by Dallas Stars forward Loui Eriksson and Ottawa Senators star Erik Karlsson put Sweden on top for the rest of the game. Henrik Lundqvist got the win while Kari Lehtonen, who started in place of a sick Tuukka Rask, took the loss.
United States vs. Canada
- Jamie Benn (2) (Bouwmeester) - 1:41 in the 2nd
The United States ran into a brick wall in the form of Canada's defense and Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price. The defensive corps did an excellent job keeping the United States to the outside, and also controlled puck possession for the better part of the game.
The lone goal scored in this game was off of a re-directed shot from the stick of Jay Bouwmeester. Jamie Benn refocused the shot from the edge of the far-side faceoff circle past a sprawling Jonathan Quick to give Canada all of the offense it would need. The United States wasted an impressive 36 save effort on the part of Quick, while Price picked up a 31 save shutout.