UTICA, N.Y. (AP) — Petra Nieminen scored the decisive shootout goal, and Finland defeated the Czech Republic 3-2 on Sunday to win its 14th bronze medal — and first since 2021 — at the women’s hockey world championship tournament.

Sanni Ahola made 29 saves through overtime, and stopped four of five shootout attempts. She clinched the win by turning aside Denisa Krizova’s bid to beat her through the legs on the Czechs’ fifth and final attempt. Viivi Vainikka and Michelle Karvinen scored in a game Finland never trailed.

After Karvinen and Czech Republic’s Klara Hymlarova traded goals through the first two shootout rounds, Nieminen scored in the third round by flipping a shot to beat Klara Peslarova inside the left post.

The top-seeded United States and second-seeded Canada meet in the gold medal game for the 22nd time in 23 tournaments later in the day.

The Finns entered the tournament as the fourth seed, in knocking off the Czechs who had won bronze in each of the past two championships.

Peslarova stopped 47 shots through overtime, while Denisa Krizova and Michaela Pejzlova scored for the Czechs.

Earlier in the day, the International Ice Hockey Federation announced next year’s world championships will be played at Ceske Budejovice in the Czech Republic, the first time the nation has hosted the tournament. Play will be begin on April 8 and run through April 20.

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AP Women’s Hockey: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-hockey