Ice hockey: Sweden win world title after penalty shoot-out

Sweden won the ice hockey world championships for the 10th time with a 2-1 victory over 2016 champions Canada after Sunday´s final was settled by a penalty shoot-out.

Nicklas Backstorm hit the winning penalty after it finished 1-1 over the three periods as Ryan O´Reilly equalised for Canada after Victor Hedman had put Sweden ahead. In the shoot-out, both Backstrom and Oliver Ekman-Larsson nailed their penalties for Sweden to the delight of their travelling fans in Cologne. Canada´s quartet of Nate Mackinnon, Brayden Point, O´Reilly and Mitch Marner all failed with their penalty attempts to hand Sweden their first world title since 2013.

Excellent defence from both teams added to the tension in a nervy final. After Canada´s Mark Scheifele clipped the post in the first period, Jeff Skinner smacked his shot off the goal´s frame in the second as Sweden survived two let offs.

Despite having Backstrom in the penalty box for slashing, Sweden took the lead, against the run of play, 21 seconds before the end of the second period. Hedman´s speculative long-range shot passed two team-mates and hit the back of the net with the puck passing through the legs of Canada´s goaltender Calvin Pickard. The defending champions levelled with a powerplay goal one minute, 58 seconds into the third period when Ryan O´Reilly flicked home Mitch Marner´s long-range shot.

There was no score in over-time and it was Sweden who held their nerve in the penalty shoot-out. Earlier, Russia survived a late fightback by Finland as Nikita Kucherov sealed their 5-3 win to claim bronze.

Having lost 4-2 to Canada in the semi-finals, Russia raced into a 4-0 lead in the bronze-medal match with Nikita Gusev (twice), Vladimir Tkachyov and Bogdan Kiselevich all scoring. But Finland rallied with three unanswered goals through Mikko Rantanen, Mikko Lehtonen and Veli-Matti Savinainen to pull it back to 4-3 early in the third quarter. Kucherov settled Russian nerves though with the team´s fifth goal to secure third place.

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