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Sweden confidently past Finland in second meeting of Finland-Sweden Challenge

It would be a lot more goals today compared to Friday’s match (3-2) but the winner was the same. After 60 minutes, a second-period breakaway proved enough for Sweden to defeat Finland. The match ended 8-5. The extra point, given to the winner of the consecutive penalty series, was earned by Sweden as well.

On home soil, the Swedes started the match with great intensity and pressured Finland from the start. The reward was almost instant. When Finland changed lines they were unable to keep the ball after Sweden amped up their pressure. The goal was easy for Ellen Rasmussen and the Swedes led with 1-0. As always, Finland fought fiercely, even though their opponents started the match better, and were rewarded with a penalty shot. Veera Kauppi kept her cool and did not miss. When the dust settled, the Swedes had the best papers for the win – even though the score was a 1-1 tie.

Sweden continued its dominance in the second period. It were the Finns, however, to score the first goal of the period and take the lead for the first and only time. The Swedes played on ball-possession but were sloppy at times. In one of the many counters, it was Eliisa Alanko who scored in a 1 on 1 with the Swedish goalkeeper and – with some luck – found the net. In hindsight, this quick Finnish goal was the wake-up call Sweden needed and they quickly scored four consecutive goals – all within 10 minutes. The Finnish answer came too late. Where Sweden played (and scored) more as a team, it was individual skill that kept Finland in the game. The Finnish third goal, the 5-3, was a prime example of this when Eliisa Alanko scored after great movement from her sister Ella. However, the Swedes were unstoppable and when the second break started, they led with 7-3.

Finland started a small comeback and quickly scored the 7-4 in powerplay when My Kippilä had a quick sweeper shot from the point position. The next goal was a present from the referee when he thought Eliisa Alanko missed because of a stick block – the replay showed nothing. Despite the free goal, which was a penalty shot by My Kippilä, Finland was unable to pose a considerable threat. The match progress, where Sweden dominated the Finns in every aspect, continued in the third period. The 8-5, which fell only a minute after My Kippilä’s penalty shot, was the nail in the coffin.

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