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Sweden Triumphs in QF
Sweden showed heart, grit, strength and willpower in overcoming the home crowd's team Slovakia at the IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship first Quarterfinal today as Sweden muscles into a hard-fought 6-4 victory over the hosts.
The game started under Swedish control despite the Slovakians best efforts to use their size advantage, but the quick and most of all smart Swedish players point blank refused to get involved in any tomfoolery on the pad. It took 8 minutes for Sweden to draw first blood through Linus Svedlund.
Just a minute into the second period, Svedlund doubled the Swedish lead to two on a spectacular individual effort. Refusing to take their foot off the gas, the Swedes rallied into a three goal lead through Rasmus Dahlberg-Karlsson.
Slovakians pulled one back, but the three goal cushion was soon restored by Markus Kinisjärvi from an outstanding pass from Rasmus Kesti.
Slovakia came out fighting after half time and tied the game to 4-4 in the third period. They controlled the game in every area and used the energy from the home crowd to press hard.
Fourth period was all Sweden though. Regrouped and determined to win, we saw what would be the game-winning-goal when Hampus Larsson despatched the puck into the back of the net after Markus Kinisjärvi and Jesper Kokkonen first muscled through the Slovakian defence.
Jesper Kokkonen slammed the last nail into the Slovakian coffin to make it 6-4. Slovakia pulled their goalie in an attempt to come back in the final two minutes, but the Swedish defence held strong.
With the Quarterfinal win, Sweden secured a group stage rematch against neighbours and fierce rivals Finland, which will be played tomorrow, 30 June 2017 at 20:00.