Saint Petersburg (17:00)
Nizhny Novgorod (18:00)
Saint Petersburg (19:30)
The Swedes had a fantastic start in the first period, getting the go-ahead goal after only 16 seconds with Rasmus Sandin – the Russians didn't manage to contain him as he will end the game with two goals and a pair of assists. However, two minutes later, the Russians tied it up at one with Ivan Morozov's first of the night. The game was eventful since the beginning, and after only four minutes, Nils Hoglander received a game misconduct penalty for a high hit on Russia's Grigory Denisenko. On the ensuing powerplay, Alexander Khovanov found twine as Valery Bragin's side went up by one goal.
The Russians kept on pushing, and after twelve minutes, the team found itself up by two goals as Egor Sokolov buried an inviting chance for the 3-1 goal. Discipline has been an issue for the Russians throughout the tournament, and it's not a surprise that the Swedes started their comeback after a penalty when Samuel Fagemo beat Yaroslav Askarov five minutes to the first intermission.
In the second period, the Swedes first tied the game up with another powerplay goal – Sandin scored his second of the night. The Russians didn't show their best hockey in the period, and at times it almost looked like the Swede fourth goal was about to arrive.
In the final stanza, the Tre Kronor went ahead. After Maxim Sorkin was caught on a tripping penalty, a Nils Lundkvist's shot found the back of the net for the numerous Russian fans' disappointment. Valery Bragin decided to recall Askarov to the bench, icing Amir Miftakhov at his place. However, after only four minutes, Sokolov scored his second of the night with a close-range shot after a pass by Alexander Khovanov, sending the game to OT.
In the three-on-three extra time, the Swedes started strong, but Miftakhov was unbeatable. At the third minute – after a long shift in the offensive zone by Dmitry Voronkov – Vasily Podkolzin received the puck in a favorable position. However, he decided to skate back to the neutral zone, waiting for backup forces. The move panned out: Podkolzin sent the puck to a rushing Ivan Morozov, who catapulted into the offensive zone and beat the Swedish goalie on the glove's side, gifting Team Russia the first WJC finals since 2016. Throughout the game, the Russians outshot the Tre Kronor 44-25.
Tomorrow, Jan. 5, Team Russia will face the winner of the Finland and Canada showdown later tonight.