Swedes slip past Soviets, 3-2 Canada Cup

September 03, 1991

MONTREAL -- Tomas Sandstrom's slap shot with 3 minutes, 54 seconds remaining gave Sweden a 3-2 victory yesterday over the Soviet Union, which, with its second consecutive defeat, was in danger of failing to make the medal round in the Canada Cup hockey tournament.

The Swedes, meanwhile, revived their hopes after an opening-game loss to the United States.

Trailing by 2-0 after two periods, the Soviets tied it on goals by Alexei Zhamnov and Alexander Semak.

Then Thomas Steen sent Sandstrom in on a counterattack down the left side, and he sent a slap shot past goaltender Mikhail Shtalenkov.

The Soviets outshot Sweden, 30-15, but the Swedes had the upper hand for the first two periods, using tight defense in the neutral zone and turnovers to go on attack.

Only 9,275 spectators turned out to the 16,000-seat Forum, including a large contingent of singing Swedish fans.

Finland 1, Czechoslovakia 0

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan -- Czechoslovakia forward Martin Rucinsky scored into his own net with 17 seconds left, inadvertently giving Finland a victory.

Rucinsky was skating back trying to end a two-on-one break when Finland's Teemu Selanne, a No. 1 draft choice of the Winnipeg Jets, passed in front for Petri Skriko of the Vancouver Canucks.

Rucinsky laid his stick down on the ice to block the pass and the puck went off his stick past goaltender Dominik Hasek of the Chicago Blackhawks at 19:43.

After the score, Rucinsky pressed his face into the ice while Hasek kicked away the puck in disgust.

Selanne was given credit for the goal, which broke what would have been the first scoreless tie in Canada Cup history. It was Finland's first win ever in the tournament.

Both teams, picked by many as the two countries in the six-team tournament to be eliminated from the semifinal, are in excellent position of advancing to the playoff round.

In each of the four previous Canada Cups, five points based on a 2-2-1 round-robin record has been enough to earn a berth. Czechoslovakia needs one win and a tie to reach that mark, and the Finns are a win away.

The result also ended Finland's futility against Czechoslovakia in three previous Canada Cup games. They lost by 8-0 in 1976, 7-1 in 1981 and 5-2 in 1987.

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