TURIN, Italy (CP) - Sweden is back on top of the hockey world.
A goal on a cannon shot from Nicklas Lidstrom 10 seconds into the third period was the difference as Sweden beat rival Finland 3-2 in an all-Scandinavian Olympic gold medal game on Sunday.
The Swedes, now ranked as the world's No. 1 hockey country, last won gold at the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway.
''It's been a long wait for Swedish hockey,'' said beaming captain Mats Sundin.
The victory over the previously unbeaten Finns erased the bitter memory of an embarrassing 4-3 loss to lowly Belarus in the quarter-finals of the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City and a 2-1 quarter-final loss to the Finns in 1998 in Nagano, Japan.
And it was particularly satisfying for a core of players who have been mainstays on the Swedish team for the past decade, including Lidstrom, Sundin, Peter Forsberg and Daniel Alfredsson, who may all have played their last Olympics.
Another member of the group known in Sweden as the Golden Generation, Markus Naslund of the Vancouver Canucks, missed the Games with an injury.
''This could have been it for us,'' said Lidstrom. ''I don't think you'll see us in the next one (in Vancouver in 2010).
''It was fitting that Sundin and Forsberg assisted on my goal.''
What a goal it was.