Finland beats Russia 3-1 to reach world ice hockey final
MOSCOW (AP) Finland beat Russia 3-1 on Saturday to set up an ice hockey world championship final against either the United States or Canada.
The Finns, the only unbeaten team, are on course for their first world championship since 2011.
Eighteen-year-old forward Sebastian Aho helped Finland to win with two goals he attributed to ''great passes to me,'' adding he was looking forward to the gold medal game. ''I like to win and I hate to lose.''
Meanwhile, the loss ensured Russia has not made the final at a home world championship since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Sergei Shirokov gave Russia the lead in the first period, scoring on his own rebound following a pass from Dmitry Telegin.
Having been outshot 10-4 in the first, Finland fought back with three second-period goals. Aho, an NHL prospect, tied up the game with a power-play slapshot before Jussi Jokinen scored a wrist shot off a pass across the crease from NHL No. 1 draft pick contender Patrik Laine.
With Russia's Alex Ovechkin off the ice for interference, Aho scored his second power-play goal off assists from Jarno Koskiranta and Mikko Koivu. Finland then shut down the game in the third to secure the win.
There was more bad news for Russia late in the third when Telegin suffered what appeared to be a severe knee injury in a fall, and was left to crawl across the ice before the game was stopped.
The U.S. and Canada contested the second semifinal late Saturday. Finland beat both teams in the preliminary round.