Austria, Finland earn shootout wins at hockey worlds
PRAGUE (AP) Konstantin Komarek scored the winning penalty to give Austria a 3-2 win over Germany after a shootout at the hockey world championships Monday, a result that sent Switzerland into the quarterfinals.
Austria’s win means Switzerland became the fourth team from Group A to advance to the quarters, joining Canada, Sweden and the Czech Republic. Austria needed a win in regulation to keep alive its slim chances of advancing.
Finland also beat Belarus 3-2 after a penalty shootout, having already secured a spot in the knockout stage. Finland is tied for second with Russia in Group B with 14 points, one behind the United States.
Belarus has 11 points in fourth and needs at least a point from its last group game against Norway to make the quarters for the second straight year.
In the late games, Filip Forsberg scored two goals as Sweden completed the group stage with a 4-2 victory over France to clinch second place in Group A. The Nashville Predators forward has a tournament-leading eight goals from seven games.
”To finish second in the group period’s a good job,” said New Jersey Devils forward Jacob Josefson, who also had a goal for Sweden. ”We’re looking forward to the quarterfinals.”
Canada has 18 points and one more game to play, while Sweden is second on 16, three more than Czechs. Switzerland has nine.
Austria, a newcomer in the top division, led 2-1 lead before Patrick Reimer tied the game for Germany with 2 minutes remaining in the final period.
In Ostrava, Evgeni Kovyrshin ended Finland goaltender Pekka Rinne’s shutout streak with a one-timed slap shot 5:09 into the final period for Belarus. The Nashville Predators goalie had shut out three straight opponents at the worlds, setting a post-World War II record of going 237 minutes without allowing a goal at the tournament.
”He is a top notch goaltender and one of the best, if not the best in the game,” said Finland forward Tuomo Ruutu.
Joonas Donskoi and Teemu Hartikainen scored 54 seconds apart in the final period to give Finland the lead before Alexei Kalyuzhny beat Rinne again with 31 seconds to go.
In the shootout, Jarkko Immonen, Joonas Donskoi and captain Jussi Jokinen all scored to lift Finland to victory.
Also in Group B, Ziga Pance’s goal lifted Slovenia 1-0 over Denmark for its first victory. Despite the three points, Slovenia finished last and will be demoted to the second-tier tournament next year.