Antilla helps Finland break Russia's spell in ice hockey worlds semifinal

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BRATISLAVA, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Finland decided the first semifinal game at the Ice Hockey World Championship against Russia with a single goal in the third period and handed Russia their first loss at the tournament.

Russia's 8-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday when Marko Antilla sent the puck between the legs of a defender and the goalie alike in the 51st minute and scored the only goal of the fast-paced semifinal game that kept the fans in the crowded Ondrej Nepela Arena on the edge of their seats.

The desperate Russians pulled their goalie with under two minutes left, but the determined Finns defended with all their might and refused the tying goal.

The shooters on both sides put the goalies into the spotlight. Kevin Lankinen made 32 saves on his second shutout of the tournament, defusing several top scoring chances, and Andrei Vasilevski let only one of the 29 shot attempts of the Finns in his net.

The Finns will battle for gold on Sunday against the winner of the second semifinal match, either Canada or the Czech Republic. Eight years ago, Finland won the gold medal at the previous world championship in Bratislava, edging out Russia in the semifinals as well. Enditem

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