Three goals from members of the Detroit Red Wings lifted Sweden to a 3-2 win over rival Finland in the gold medal game of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games on Sunday, with Nicklas Lidstrom scoring the game-winner just ten seconds into the third period.
On the period’s opening faceoff, Finnish center Saku Koivu (Montreal Canadiens) broke his stick and left and opening for the Swedes to gain the offensive zone. Lidstrom fired a blistering long shot past goalie Antero Niittymaki (Philadelphia Flyers) for what ended up being the game’s final goal.
The Finns had opened the game’s scoring with 5:15 remaining in the first period, when a powerplay shot by Kimmo Timonen (Nashville Predators) was deflected went past netminder Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers).
Sweden got on the board at 4:42 of the second period, when Henrik Zetterberg scored on the powerplay.
Niklas Kronwall added another Swedish powerplay goal with 6:36 remaining in the period but Ville Peltonen tied it up for the Finns just 1:36 later.
After the Lidstrom goal gave Sweden the lead, Lundqvist locked down the Swedish net, making ten saves on the period.
Lundqvist finished the game with 25 saves, as did Niittymaki.
The gold medal is Sweden’s first in men’s ice hockey since 1994, when Peter Forsberg beat Canadian goalie Corey Hirsch in a shootout in Lillehammer. The Finns’ silver is their first medal since earning the bronze in 1998 in Nagano and their highest finish ever.
The Czech Republic claimed the bronze medal on Saturday, defeating Russia for their first medal since winning the gold in 1998.