Monday, February 27, 2006
Yesterday's game was nearly as thrilling as Sweden's Gold Medal victory in 1994 against Canada, when the Flyers Peter Forsberg scored a shoot-out goal to win it. Again Forsberg played a critical role, winning the face-off that led to the go-ahead goal. The fact that the game was against Finland was pretty neat: Finland and Sweden were actually united until Russia invaded in the early 1800's and Sweden ceded territory that eventually became Finland to Russia. It was an all-Scandanavian finale.
There is a lot of Swedish history in the Delaware Valley area, I'd note. Sweden was actually the first to colonize the Delaware Valley, building a fort called Fort Christiana in 1638 where Wilmington stands. For about fifty years Sweden operated a series of colonies on the Delaware before a Dutch army forced its surrender. Despite the fact that most Swedish immigrants arriving in America headed to the Midwest (my own family is originally from Minnesota), there is still a tremendous amount of Swedish history in the area: the American-Swedish Historical Museum is located in South Philly off FDR Park. (Click here for their website.) Old Swedes Church in South Philly is the second-oldest Swedish Church in America, dating from the year 1700.
If you are looking for more info, click here for Lonelyplanet.com's synopsis of Sweden. And here for Finland.
Congratulations, Team Sweden. You did great!