Tue, May 13, 2008 - Page 19 News List

Postgame slugfest mars Finland’s US win at ice hockey world championship

AP , HALIFAX, CANADA

Anssi Salmela, left, of Finland bleeds after a fight with David Backes, rear right, of the US during the IIHF World Ice Hockey Championship qualification round at the Halifax Metro Centre on Sunday in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

PHOTO : AFP

Mikko Koivu scored with less than four minutes remaining to give Finland a 3-2 come-from-behind win on Sunday over the US at the Ice Hockey World Championship that was marred by a postgame brawl.

After Koivu scored with 3:50 left, the US’ Adam Burish was ejected for butt-ending a Finland player.

As time expired, US forward Dustin Brown checked a Finnish defenseman into the boards with a hit to the head, touching off a melee that featured a fight between David Backes of the US and Amsso Salmela of Finland.

Earlier on Sunday, in Quebec City, Andres Ambuhl and Sandy Jeannin scored early and Switzerland went on to beat Denmark 7-2, earning Sweden a place in the quarterfinals.

Latvia won for only the second time in five games, beating Norway 4-1 to improve its chances of claiming the last remaining quarterfinal berth, and Sweden beat the Czech Republic 5-3 to avoid a quarterfinal showdown against a top seed.

The US took a two-goal lead to the third after scoring twice in the second. But Finland (4-0) scored three times on 25 shots in the final frame.

Teemu Selanne scored the tying goal on a cross-ice pass from Saku Koivu after Ville Koistinen put Finland on the board during a two-man advantage.

Koivu’s go-ahead goal came on a power-play and ensured that the US (2-2) can finish no better than third in its group, though the US has already qualified for the quarterfinals.

Finland is a point back of Canada atop the group, and the two were to face each other yesterday to decide the top seed going into the quarterfinals.

Sweden moved past the Czechs into third place in their qualifying group, getting a tie-breaking goal from Patric Hornqvist with 4:53 left.

After a scoreless first period, the Swedes took one-goal leads in the second period on tallies by Anton Stralman and Marcus Nilson only to see the Czechs tie it each time on power-play goals by Patrick Elias and Ales Kotalik.

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