May 28 (Reuters) – Olympic champions Finland advanced to the final of the ice hockey world championship after holding on for a 4-3 win over the United States on home ice in Tampere on Saturday, handing the Americans their 11th straight semi-final loss.
Hosts Finland survived a late scare when the U.S. scored in the final three minutes to cut the deficit to 4-3 but they weathered the pressure in the dying minutes to clinch a hard-fought victory.
The defeat extended the Americans’ title drought to 89 years, having not won the world tournament since the 1933 edition in Prague, Czechoslovakia. They won Olympic gold in 1960 and 1980, both times when no world championship was played.
Since governing body IIHF introduced the playoff system for the world championship in 1992, the U.S. have lost all 11 of their semi-finals.
Hosts Finland, who last won the world title in 2019, will play their third consecutive final on Sunday and face either Canada or the Czech Republic.
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Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; editing by Clare Fallon
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