Tue, May 13, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Canada beats Sweden in overtime

WORLD HOCKEY Anson Carter scored during extra time with a goal that slid only 2cm into the Swedish net. It took 10 minutes for officials to make a ruling

AP , HELSINKI, FINLAND

Canada's hockey players celebrate after winning the gold medal at the World Hockey Championship in Helsinki, Finland, on Sunday. Canada defeated Sweden in the final 3-2.

PHOTO: AP

Few fans saw Anson Carter's game-winner for Canada cross the goal line in the final game of the World Hockey Championships.

Swedish coach Hardy Nilsson wasn't even convinced the puck did cross the line.

But Carter was, and so were International Ice Hockey Federation officials Sunday after watching the replay from seven different angles while the teams waited 10 minutes for a decision.

Officials said on the best frame the puck was "barely but visibly" 2cm inside the goal line, giving Canada the overtime win over Sweden 3-2.

This was the most controversial ending in the 67-year history of the worlds: the guys upstairs made the final decision.

"I saw the puck go in, but you know, at the same time, my opinion doesn't really count," Carter said. "It's the guys upstairs and the referees who make the decision.

"I was sure glad the puck went in because I twisted my knee in the celebration, and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to continue with the game. But yeah, I saw it cross the goal line. I was able to beat [Mikael] Tellqvist with my shot after he came across the goal crease for the initial shot."

The 28-year-old New York Rangers winger swooped in from behind the net to slip the puck under Tellqvist's pad 13:49 into overtime.

"I don't think it was a goal," Swedish forward PJ Axelsson of the Boston Bruins said. ``I never saw the puck in. But they have cameras upstairs.

"It took a long time to see if the goal was in. I've never seen that before, but obviously they took their time and they saw that the puck was in. It's a strange way to end a hockey game."

For coach Nilsson, it was another bitter loss. In 2001 and 2002, his Swedish teams lost after penalty shootouts in the semifinals. And now the team lost in overtime.

"I haven't seen the replay yet," Nilsson said. "I'm still not sure the puck was 100 percent in and I want to see it before I feel 100 percent sure that we are the losers."

Canada coach Andy Murray had some witnesses calling from Canada watching the final on television during breakfast seven time zones away.

"We had people calling from Canada saying the puck was over the line," he said. "We also had people in the dressing room looking at a television monitor and they said the goal was in."

Tellqvist, who spent much of his rookie season with Toronto's American Hockey League farm team, the St. Johns Maple Leafs, thought Carter got a lucky bounce "because the puck came right back to his stick and he could go around the net and put it in the side."

"I'm really disappointed. It's always tough to lose a two-goal lead, but after 20 minutes, there's still 40 minutes of hockey left," Tellqvist said.

Canada overcame an early 2-0 deficit and tied the score nine minutes into the third period.

The overtime format was new to this tournament, with four-on-four playing a 20-minute extra period. A penalty shootout would have decided a deadlock following the overtime session.

Canada went undefeated during the tournament and added the world title to its Olympic gold medal won last year. Olympic champs Eric Brewer and captain Ryan Smyth, both of the Edmonton Oilers, played on this team.

Carter also played on the gold medal-winning team that triumphed on this same rink against the Swedes at the 1997 worlds -- along with Cory Cross and Sean Burke, who did not play in this final with a groin injury and was replaced by Robert Luongo of the Florida Panthers.

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