Finland’s Sami Vatanen #42 skates with the puck with pressure from Dennis Everberg #18 of Sweden.

By Derek O’Brien –

Harri Pesonen scored in overtime to cap an incredible comeback for Finland, who were down 3-0 after two periods but eventually won 4-3.

With the overtime victory, Finland wins Group C with eight points, and will be seeded either first or second heading into the knockout stage – depending on the result of the USA-Germany game. Sweden finishes second in the group with seven points and will be seeded fourth, meaning both of these teams will proceed directly to the quarter-finals.

About the only thing predictable about this game was the ill feelings between the teams, and it got downright nasty at times. While his teams are normally very structured and disciplined, Jukka Jalonen’s squad was anything but at times during this one, especially during the second period, when the Swedes scored the game’s first three goals – two on the power play – before the Finns came back with three goals and two power-play goals of their own in the third.

Offensive defenceman Henrik Tommernes and Jonathan Pudas had two points each for Sweden. Iiro Pakarinen scored twice for Finland.

After two starts from Harri Sateri, the start to this game went to Jussi Olkinuora, their man in net during last spring’s silver-medal team in Riga. Olkinuora showed he was on his game in the early minutes in which Sweden carried the play, particularly during a flurry in the seventh minute when the goalie dropped his stick and sprawled in his crease Hasek-style to make a couple of saves off Marcus Kruger and Max Friberg with his arm.

At the other end, Magnus Hellberg’s biggest action of the period came when he got bowled over by Miro Aaltonen, who was shoved into the crease by Swedish defenceman Oscar Fantenburg. Aaltonen was given a minor penalty for goaltender interference.

The Swedes finally opened the scoring at 24:24 on a one-timer from Lucas Wallmark, taking a perfect pass from Tommernes and using a Finnish defender as a screen for his fourth goal of the tournament.

Just 30 seconds later, Markus Granlund caught Philip Holm with a shoulder to the head, knocking the Swede to the ice and sparking another scuffle. Holm was helped to the dressing room and didn’t return. After a review, Granlund was given a match penalty, sending the Salavat Yulayev Ufa forward to the showers and giving the Swedes a five-minute power play.

On the power play, Sweden cashed in on another one-timer set up by Tommernes, this one from the opposite side by Lukas Bengtsson that beat a screened Olkinuora five-hole.

After that penalty expired, Sweden went right back to the power play when Petteri Lindbohm took an undisciplined slashing penalty after the whistle and the Swedes took advantage again, with Anton Lander scoring on the rebound after the original point shot by Jonathan Pudas.

The Finns finally got on the board with 14:26 on a power play of their own. Teemu Hartikainen fired a one-timer from the slot over Hellberg’s glove after a perfect set-up by Sakari Manninen.

Finland went back to the power play when Linus Johansson was called for hooking with 5:27 to play. The Finns immediately attacked furiously for another goal and thought they’d got one when Valteri Filppula tried to put in a rebound but it hit Hellberg in the shoulder and video replay was needed to see if it had crossed the goal line. It hadn’t, but Iiro Pakarinen did score just seconds later, putting in a rebound after Hartikainen’s point shot with 4:30 to go.

And they kept coming. With 2:49 to play it was Pakarinen again on another rebound and, incredibly, the game was off to overtime, where Finland completed the comeback.