Sweden awaits the winner of today's highly anticipated matchup between Team USA and Canada in the semifinal round of the men's ice hockey tournament at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The Swedes escaped the semifinals with a hard-fought, 2-1 victory over Finland today. Minnesota Wild winger Mikael Granlund went without a point in the game. He finished the Olympics with three goals.
Loui Eriksson and Erik Karlsson scored for Sweden. Karlsson is now tied with former Gopher Phil Kessel of the Americans for the scoring lead in the Olympics.
Kessel and Team USA needs to beat Canada today for the right to play the Swedes for the gold-medal on Sunday. If the U.S. loses they'll play in the bronze-medal game against Finland on Saturday. If it happens, the Wild would be represent by Granlund with the Finns and Zach Parise and Ryan Suter for the Americans.
The thought of losing hasn't crossed Parise's mind. An hour after the U.S. defeated the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals, Parise emailed the Star Tribune with a simple statement: "Need some revenge!"
He was referring to the impending matchup with the Canadians – a rematch of the 2010 gold-medal game in Vancouver, where Parise scored the tying goal with 24 seconds left in regulation, only to watch that momentum and gold medal slip away as Sidney Crosby delivered the dagger in the eighth minute of the overtime period.
“The intensity is going to be in my opinion just as high as if it’s a gold medal game,” Parise told the New York Times. “I don’t think at this stage of the tournament we need any extra incentive or extra motivation,” he added.
The U.S.-Canada game begins at 11 a.m. and we'll have full recap as soon as it goes final.