After losing their first two games, Team Finland have managed to turn their most recent two matchups into shutout victories. First defeating Germany 4-0 and now taking down Belarus 2-0, giving the Finns even more hope that they will make the playoffs, even after their rocky start.
Much like their game against Germany, Finland’s play was highlighted by their very strong defense and outstanding goaltending from Pekka Rinne. Petri Kontiola once again led the way for his team, scoring both goals for his team. This is no surprise, as Kontiola finished last year’s World Championship as the leading scorer for the entire tournament.
“The defense for us was very good and our goalie was great tonight,” said Kontiola. “That’s why we won. We had a few problems on the offense, but we had a good defense and a good goalie, so we won it.”
Belarus managed to get some very good chances throughout the game, with Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn playing very strong for their team and leading the way offensively. Despite the strong efforts Belarus made throughout the game, it just wasn’t strong enough for Finland’s defense, who kept Belarus on a tight leash and clamped down on them throughout.
“There was good defense from both teams,” Petri Kontiola said of the defense. “We had to shoot from outside and we couldn’t get into the middle. Neither team really had any good scoring chances so that’s why there weren’t many shots on goal.”
Finland’s next opponents will be Switzerland, who they will be facing off against on May 16 in an attempt to get their third win.