Victor Stjernborg scored a shorthanded goal with 65 seconds remaining and Sweden defeated rival Finland 3-2 in quarterfinal action Monday at the world junior hockey championship.
Finland took a 2-1 lead in the third period when Niko Huuhtanen scored just over four minutes into the final frame.
Pressing for a an equalizer, Sweden tied the score when Leo Carlsson scored his second of the game with less than four minutes remaining.
Finland had an opportunity to regain the lead when Sweden’s Fabian Lysell was penalized for high-sticking with under two minutes to go in regulation. But instead Stjernborg won the puck at centre ice after a Swedish clear, then skated in alone and beat Finnish goaltender Jani Lampinen for the winning goal.
Sweden will face the winner of a quarterfinal between Czechia and Switzerland in Wednesday’s semifinals.
In Monday’s other quarterfinals, the United States faced Germany and defending-champion Canada met Slovakia.
Meanwhile, Latvia defeated Austria 5-2 in the opening game of a best-of-three relegation series.
Oliver Kapanen had the other goal for Finland.
Carl Lindbom made 33 saves for Sweden, while Lampinen stopped 17 shots for Finland.
Emils Veckaktins scored twice and Bogdans Hodass had a goal and two assists as Latvia moved a step toward remaining among the top-level world junior teams.
Dans Locmelis and Sandis Vilmanis also scored for Latvia, which outshot Austria 46-13.
Luca Auer and Vinzenz Rohrer scored for Austria.
The teams meet again Wednesday. The winner of the regulation series will appear at next year’s world juniors in Goteborg, Sweden, while the loser will be relegated to Division I Group A.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 2, 2023.