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Finland beat Slovakia to reach Olympic ice hockey final

The Lions remain on course to secure Finland's first ever ice hockey gold medal.

Suomi tuuletti voittoa maltillisesti.
The Finnish players celebrating their victory over Slovakia on Friday morning. Image: Lehtikuva
Yle News

Finland's men's ice hockey team have beaten Slovakia 2-0 in Friday's Olympic semi final and will progress to play either Sweden or the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) in Sunday's final.

A goal in the first period by Sakari Manninen had given the Lions an early lead which they defended resolutely, with netminder Harri Säteri making a series of fine saves as Slovakia dominated the second and third periods.

Harri Pesonen eventually clinched victory with a second goal in the dying seconds, sliding the puck into an empty net as Slovakia had sacrificed their goalkeeper in search of an equaliser.

Story continues after the photo.

Sakari Manninen ujuttaa kiekon verkkoon Slovakiaa vastaan olympiavälierässä.
Sakari Manninen gave Finland a 1-0 lead in the first period. Image: Getty Images

Finland has only once previously reached an ice hockey Olympic final — in 2006 in the Italian city of Turin — when they lost 2-1 to neighbours Sweden. They also won silver in 1988, when the tournament was played in a round-robin format, and have four bronze medals (1994, 1998, 2010, 2014).

The current crop of Lions have a perfect record going into Sunday's decider, having previously beaten Slovakia 6-2 in the group stages, followed by wins over Latvia (3-1), Sweden (4-3 having trailed 3-0), and in the quarter finals against Switzerland (5-1).

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