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Ready for Rematch!
Preparations for this evening's emotionally charged rematch against Finland are well underway in Bratislava as Team Sweden has an opportunity to reclaim the bragging rights between the two neighbours.
The one-goal thriller from group stage when Finland just managed to edge the Swedes by the tightest of margins was well and truly embedded into the Swedish players memories and the entire team is ready to leave everything on the rink to beat the Finns.
It is bound to be a highly charged game for both teams. The two neighbouring hockey giants are fierce rivals and reputations are at stake.
Finland is unbeaten in the tournament so far. Only Czech Republic has managed to claim a point from the Finns, but even they had to succumb to the Finnish offensive prowess after penalties. Players to watch for Team Finland include current tournament top scorer Teemu Lepaus with his 15 points in 4 games and the always dangerous perennial superstar Jimi Palanto who anticipates an "even match that is sure to become an all-time classic."
Sweden has had a rocky road to the semifinals despite also fielding a world class team. The super-talented Swedish top scorer Markus Kinisjärvi sits third in the scoring table with 11 points in 4 games, but the team only managed to win one of its games in the group stage. It has taken a little time for the team to gel together, but the hard work has paid off and the team displayed immense strength of character and skill in the quarterfinal against Slovakia earning their place in the semis.
Both Finland and Sweden have had their morning skates and both teams' physios are working overtime to make sure the guys are ready for the evening's big hockey show.
Tune in to the live stream at the IIHF website or at Fanseat.com for a front row seat to the evening's classic that starts at 20:00.