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Saturday, December 15, 2018  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  International sports

Sweden retains world hockey title; U.S. takes third

Sweden team pose with the trophy after their victory over Switzerland in the Ice Hockey World Championships final match at the Royal arena in Copenhagen, Denmark, Sunday, May 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek) ORG XMIT: XDL211 (Petr David Josek / AP)
Sweden team pose with the trophy after their victory over Switzerland in the Ice Hockey World Championships final match at the Royal arena in Copenhagen, Denmark, Sunday, May 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek) ORG XMIT: XDL211 (Petr David Josek / AP)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Sweden capped a victorious run through the ice hockey world championship by edging Switzerland 3-2 on Sunday in the final after a penalty shootout to successfully defend its title.

Forward Filip Forsberg scored the decisive goal in the shootout to give Sweden a third world title in six years, and 11th overall.

Sweden went undefeated in 10 matches at the tournament.

“We wanted to win the gold medal, and here we are,” Sweden forward Viktor Arvidsson said. “It’s unbelievable, especially for Filip (Forsberg). He’s a great player, one of our top players. It’s unbelievable to win with my teammates.”

Arvidsson, together with Nashville Predators teammates Forsberg and defenseman Mattias Ekholm, joined the Swedish team during the tournament after the Predators were eliminated from the NHL playoffs.

“We had the puck a lot,” Arvidsson said. “They did a great job defending.”

Sweden outshot Switzerland 38-27 but could not get the puck past goaltender Leonardo Genoni.

Switzerland finished runner-up for the third time after 2013 and 1935. It has never won.

“We battled hard … all the tournament long,” Switzerland defenseman Mirco Muller said. “Once you look at the bigger picture, it’s huge for Swiss hockey. But right now, there’s a disappointment. We definitely had our chances.”

Switzerland stunned Canada 3-2 in the semifinals after a 3-2 upset against Finland in the quarterfinals.

“They were close to winning the whole championship. So, credit to them,” Sweden forward Magnus Paajarvi said.

Gustav Nyquist wristed a shot from the slot high into the net for Sweden to answer the Swiss opening goal by Nino Niederreiter.

Timo Meier scored a second period power play goal to restore the one-goal advantage for Switzerland in the second.

Mika Zibanejad equalized on a power play from the point, forcing overtime.

Earlier Sunday, the United States topped Canada 4-1 to claim the bronze medal.

Chris Kreider led the U.S. with two goals.

Forward Nick Bonino scored the winner on a rebound during a power play in the final period. Anders Lee and Kreider added empty-net insurance goals to give the U.S. its third bronze in six years.

“It’s important for the team but it’s also important for USA Hockey,” U.S. captain Patrick Kane said. “Now, we can build up off this level and try to keep being better and better.”

Kane had an assist in the game to finish the tournament with 20 points for eight goals and 12 assists, the first player to do so since 2008.

“Obviously I’m here to produce and try to create offense and make plays out there,” Kane said. “Overall, I’m happy … it was a fun tournament and a great experience for me and I hope it will help me with my career going forward too.”


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Sports >  International sports

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