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Finland bests Canada, to face Sweden in World Juniors finals

Jan 4, 2014, 3:54 PM EDT

Canada's Zachhary Fucale looks back at the puck in net as Finland's Joni Nikko slides into the goal post during the second period of a semifinal game at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Malmo, Sweden on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn) AP

For the first time since 2006, Finland will earn a medal in the World Junior Championship.

After a scoreless first period, Joni Nikko got Finland on the board first at 4:19 minutes of the second frame. From there it was all downhill for Canada.

Jonathan Drouin, who was taken by Tampa Bay with the third overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, found the back of the net midway through the second period to cut Finland’s lead down to 2-1. However, any momentum Canada might have gotten from that marker was lost when Drouin subsequently received a misconduct for a high hit.

Finland had a 3-1 edge through 40 minutes and Chicago Blackhawks prospect Teuvo Teravainen added insult to injury with a pair of late third period goals to complete the 5-1 victory. Juuse Saros turned aside 23 of 24 shots while Zachary Fucale only made 18 saves for Canada.

That sets up a gold medal match between Finland and Sweden. Meanwhile, Canada has failed to win it all for a fifth straight year. The best they can hope for now is a victory against Russia to avoid going completely empty handed. Those two countries met in the bronze medal game last year and Canada ended up losing 6-5 in overtime.

Related:

World Juniors semis: Sweden beats Russia, massive postgame brawl

  1. joey4id - Jan 4, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    This loss was about as ugly as you’ll ever see. Almost as ugly as the Pen’s loss against the B’s last year. Total choke. Not to take anything away from the Fins, and it’s ok to lose, but Canada did not play a solid game. It was a messy game for them. Can’t see how they will beat Russia if they play they way they did today.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 4, 2014 at 4:26 PM

      Ugly is right. I watched the first two periods and listened to the third, seemed like a 60-minute parade to the penalty box. That’s not going to win you any games no matter the opponent.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 4, 2014 at 4:29 PM

      I didn’t get to see the whole game, but from what I saw: The Finns broke the ice by taking advantage of a very lucky bounce out off the corner boards. Then they got lucky again with a very debatable call on a shot to the head that was not to the head, and again they took advantage of their break. Canada made it close at 2-1, but from then on it seemed to me they were outplayed and very much out-coached. The Finns played it tight from 3-1 on, and the Canadian side simply could not find any answer to the problem. I would have preferred hearing O Canada, but the Finnish anthem is also nice and they very much earned it today.

      • joey4id - Jan 4, 2014 at 4:44 PM

        That’s accurate if you look at it from a 30k foot level. Their game was not on at all. They lacked the transition play, speed in the neutral zone, their passes were off, and the PP and offense was near nil.

  2. muckleflugga - Jan 4, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    i thought the deciding factor was finland’s ability to score more goals than canada

    it looked like they brought their A game and played it one shift at a time…they had better looks and got more pucks to the net and paid the price in the dirty areas of the ice…they tweaked more twine and found more net and buried more biscuit and scored more goal scorer’s goals…they wanted it more and managed their game and kept it simple…they played a full sixty minutes with more jump and less mistakes…

    moving forward and obviously like i said at the end of the day it is what it is

    finland scored more goals

  3. bwana63 - Jan 4, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    TT power!

  4. badgerhockey77 - Jan 4, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    Always nice seeing Canada lose in hockey. Puts a smile on my face every time. Thank you Finland!

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 5, 2014 at 1:07 AM

      Even better was seeing the US team do so well. Oh, wait, they didn’t even make the medals round. Oh, that’s so sad.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 5, 2014 at 12:22 PM

        I remember when the US won the gold in OT against Canada a few years ago and everyone was on here puffing their chests and talking about how the US had closed the talent gap with Canada. Now their only joy comes from some bizarre schadenfreude. Funny how things work out.

  5. muckleflugga - Jan 5, 2014 at 12:03 AM

    shame really…

    lose to russia, canada will end in up with perennial bottom feeders like the swiss and the americans…

    grim days when found in company with those sewer rats

    • badgerhockey77 - Jan 5, 2014 at 5:40 AM

      Bitter tears are delectable!

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