RUSSIA WINS. Golubev scores and Sweden's final shot hits the post. WOW 4-3.
10:00 left: Sudden death. Here we go.
8:18: Johan Larsson of Sweden rips a shot from the right circle that's gloved by Shikin. Russian goalie has 44 saves today.
6:40: Swedes are teeing off. Cehlin just whizzed through the Russian defense in close but fired wide left.
5:07: Russia's Tarasenko tries splitting the Sweden defense and dives/trips. Fans wanted a penalty.
1:30: (Read above) Russia not getting many legit chances.
0:17: Looks like we're heading toward a shootout. Faceoff to Shikin's right coming. Sweden calls timeout to discuss. Maybe we'll get one more shot on net. Sweden has 48 so far.
0:00: Shot fired wide. Here we go...
SIDE NOTE: SABRES CONFIRM SELLOUT OF USA/CANADA GAME
We're a few minutes away from the start of the third. Just asked the guys here for some predictions. Mike says, Sweden will win 3-2. Miguel says, "Pain." I'll take Sweden in a shootout.
5:14 p.m.: Puck drop
19:01 left: Russia blows a big chance there. Puck bounces off Lehner to Dmitri Orlov and he can't finish it.
18:40: GOAL, Sweden. Game on. Larsson makes another outstanding play. The defenseman backhands a clear toward the net and Calle Jarnkrok taps it in. 2-2.
13:43: Russia's Valuiski breaks free untouched toward Lehner, dekes and cannot finish. His shot slips through the goalie's legs, to the left.
7:57: Neither team pressing too much, though Sweden keeps a steady forecheck going. Shots are in the Swedes' favor, 39-28. Since that timeout, they've really woken up.
6:47: Sweden keeps play in Russia's end. One shift, players cycled at will through the Russian zone.
6:04: Fasth strongarms his way to the net and gets a shot on Shikin, who quickly covers it up.
3:52: That's Overofficiating 101. Russia's Orlov taps his stick into a Sweden player and gets called for slashing. Looked like a stretch from up here. Could be the difference in the game. Fans here are booing.
3:19: GOAL, Sweden. With a teammate screening the goalie, Patrick Cehlin unleashes a hard shot from the point. Great execution. 3-2, Sweden. Hard to see a semifinal game come down to a ticky-tack penalty. Russia cannot be happy.
1:27: GOAL, Russia. Wow. Mad scramble in front of the net and a Russian Sergei Kalinin buries it. 3-3.
0:30: Faceoff coming to Shikin's right.
0:00: That's it for regulation. We're heading to overtime. Sweden is outshooting Russia, 44-30, but Russians pull through late to stay alive. All these Canada fans here are getting their money worth --- they're rooting hard for Russia.
4:27 p.m.: Puck drop
18:05 left: Penalty on Russia's Anton Burdasov. Big chance for Sweden to take momentum.
16:13: Solid kill by the Russians. Sweden can't generate anything on its PP. Lindberg fans on a shot in the slot and Russia puts a scare in the Swedes with a rush that took a nice breakup by top '11 prospect Adam Larsson to stop.
SIDE NOTE: Be sure to check out Mike Harrington's preview of Team USA's semifinal showdown against Canada right here.
13:48: Sweden has lead in shots, 18-13, but Russia has control of the game's tempo. They're funneling the Swedes where they want and creating some great scoring chances.
13:21: A couple fans in Soviet Union gear are shown on the big screen. I think everyone here was a tad creeped out by that.
12:51: GOAL, Russia. A puck ricochets off the back wall to Denis Golubev, who easily stuffs it away. Controversial, though. Sweden thought icing should have been called. Nonetheless, an absolute huge goal for the Russians considering the way goali Dmitri Shikin (20 saves) has been playing. 2-0, Russia.
9:12: Another great save by Shikin. Just stomached a hard slapper from the left circle. It's 2-0 but feels like 5-0 with the way he's playing. The Swedes look slow, lethargic.
7:48: Media timeout. Swedes are huddled up.
3:56: Still, 2-0. Sweden needs a goal bad.
3:41: Tim Erixon of Sweden has a slapper from the point hit the post. Ouch.
2:01: Puck trickles out to Adam Larsson and the Swede defenseman absolutely rips it to put his team on board. Huge momentum boost. Russia leads, 2-1.
0:52: Penalty on Sweden's Lander for holding the stick. And he's not happy. The forward screams to someone before stepping into the box.
0:00: End of the Second. 2-1, Russia. But Sweden came alive at the end of period on Larsson's tally. We're in for a great finish here.
3:38 p.m.: The puck has dropped.
17:57 left: Patrick Cehlin, Sweden's best offensive threat, tries to jam in a puck at the doorstep but is denied by Dmitri Shikin. Great stop early.
16:34: Slow start. These two teams are feeling each other out so far. Some horseplay after a play there. Like we said here, these guys do not like each other. In other news, just spotted one Canadian fan I met yesterday. Dude drove 27 hours to watch Team Canada in Saskatoon last year. Crazy or devoted? You make the call.
13:46: Best chance of the night for Russia so far there courtesy of Vladimir Tarasenko. The forward uncorked a hard lefty wrister that Sweden's Robin Lehner absorbed in the face.
13:23: GOAL, Russia. Tarasenko strikes. Gliding in from the left side, he flipped the puck inside Lehner's short side. Looks like Lehner may have been expecting Tarasenko to try a wraparound. Instead, the Russians grab an early 1-0 lead. Tarasenko throws his body into the glass in celebration.
12:14: Acrobatic save by Shikin. Russia's goal gives up a juicy rebound to Sweden's Johan Larsson, who appears to have a WIDE open net. Hurling his body right, Shikin slams the door shut.
5:43: Russia's on the PP. Hooking penalty on Simon Bertilsson. Offical really, really wanted to signal a penalty shot but paused just couldn't. Meanwhile, an older man sleeping is shown on the Jumbo Tron.
4:27: Tarasenko corrals a rebound and has a ton of net but Lehner wings his left glove over just in time for an incredible save. Immediately, the Swedes storm the other direction with a 2-on-1 chance. Shikin makes the stop.
0:31: Some Allen Iverson stuff there from Sweden's Fasth. He completely juked out a Russian defenseman and sent a clearing pass to the right side. One problem. Nobody home for the tap-in. Still, 1-0.
0:00: Apologies. Internet crashed here some 10-15 minutes ago. Back up and running. Very strong period for the Russians. Tarasenko and Shikin were the best players on the ice. The goalie Shikin has such a knack for knowing precisely where his rebounds are bouncing to and Tarasenko is all over the place. The Lightning prospect has such a feel for the game and can strike in an instant.
Should be a wild second period. I'd expect the Swedes to play a little more loose.
And away we go. The lights have dimmed as we're a few moments from the puck dropping on the World Juniors semifinals where Sweden takes on Russia.
In case you missed it, the Russians won in dramatic fashion to advance last night. The Swedes, meanwhile, have arguably been the most impressive team in the tournament. They shocked Canada and have ripped through their competition elsewhere.
Of course, Sweden and Russia are familiar with each other. Last week, a desperate Russian team tried its best to intimidate the speedy Swedes and failed, 2-0. Like the makeup of Sweden a lot. They're not merely a finesse team. They'll hit you. I was really surprised by the hatred between these two countries in their preliminary matchup. Scuffles broke out all night between plays as officials took on the role of Mills Lane constantly.
There's a strong pocket of yellow jerseys in section 102, but this place is mostly occupied by the Canadian faithful so far. Should be a great appetizer before the grand daddy matchup at 7:30 p.m. Stay tuned right here.