Time for the match as Finnish ice hockey friends called in when the World Cup program was presented. Finland against Sweden. A group match in the World Cup can not be much hotter than this one.
Finland – Sweden
Tampere Arena, at 20.20
Yle Sport’s live follow-up from the match opens at 20.00
Location of Finland: Popular and successful
Does anyone remember the Lion’s losing streak before the World Cup? No, I thought so.
Finland has started the World Cup completely according to the drawings. The atmosphere in the squad is harmonious and the team knows that they are in a great position to break the home tournament curse.
Almost 2.5 million Finns watched at least a clip of the match between Finland and the USA on MTV on Monday. An astonishing number.
So far, the Lions have offered exactly the escapism that countless Lion supporters have been in need of after two long corona years. I do not think we should underestimate the importance of that.
Sweden’s situation: Many offers
“I can not count them all,” is sung in the familiar hymn. The same could be said about the Swedish NHL players’ rebid to the World Cup. Tre Kronor started the World Cup with three fives in anticipation of NHL reinforcements, but it has mainly been no thanks from North America since then.
Sweden’s start at the World Cup has even been overshadowed by the discussion about team building. In fact, Johan Garpenlöv’s team has started the tournament brilliantly. Three wins in three matches. The high water mark so far is the 5–3 victory over a well-known Czech Republic.
There is a great desire for revenge in Swedish ice hockey after the crash in the World Cup last year when Tre Kronor did not even reach the quarterfinals. Also in the Olympics, Sweden was without a medal.
Keep track of: Goalkeeper selection
Who is Finland’s first goalkeeper? Is it Jussi Olkinuora who took care of the first spade in the WC last year or is it Harri Säteri who was number one in the Olympics in Beijing.
Olkinuora has played two of three matches, but Säteri joined the World Cup squad much later so that may explain the match.
If Olkinuora guards the box today, the place as his first goalkeeper is his to lose. If Säteri is in front of the posts tonight, he must do well because Olkinuora has delivered at a high level.
Previous meetings: Too few World Cup matches
Finland and Sweden have played surprisingly few World Cup matches against each other in recent years. Since the World Cup final in 2011, which Finland won 6-1, the Lions and Tre Kronor have faced each other three times in nine tournaments:
WC Semifinal 2013: FIN – SWE 0–3
WC Semifinal 2017: FIN – SWE 1–4
WC quarter final 2019: FIN-SWE 5–4 after extra time
Tonight’s clash is the first group game between the two arch-rivals since 2007.
Finland and Sweden have clashed four times this season. Tre Kronor has won all meetings in the Euro Hockey Tour, but the Lions won the match that had the biggest bet. Finland took an extra-time victory over Sweden in the Beijing Olympics.
Finland and Sweden have played 407 international matches against each other over the years. Finland has won 137 and Sweden 222.
Finland’s Fives: Upcoming
Finland’s lineup has not been published.
Tip: Goalless but cool
This is a match between two teams that progress methodically to the work and who do not cheat in the defensive job.
It is likely to be an intense, dense and entertaining battle. The home team’s sharp powerplay makes the difference. 2-1 to Finland.