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Finns Fall to Canada in OT

Note: This article was written in collaboration by Brendon Carlton and Cory Whitmer.

After pulling out two big wins over Austria and Norway, the Finns weren’t able to manage a win against this year’s incredible Canadian team, losing 2-1 in overtime.

Carolina Hurricanes’ Tuomo Ruutu was the only player to light up the scoreboard on his team, with Finland being dominated by the Canadians for much of the game. Finland did a good job of keeping players like Sidney Crosby controlled, but overall the game looked more like Canada was on a constant powerplay throughout the game, dominating in almost all aspects and Tuukka Rask’s solid goaltending being the only thing keeping them from a landslide win for Canada.

The game began seemingly evenly matched in the first, but Canada took the upper hand midway through the period after Jarkko Immonen of the KHL took an interference penalty, leading to the Los Angeles Kings’ Drew Doughty to score on the powerplay and put Canada into a 1-0 lead. Finland went on the powerplay at the end of the period went Rick Nash took a high sticking penalty, but they were unable to capitalize on the oppurtunity, ending the period down by one.

Worth mentioning was one of the more interesting moments of the game that came early when Nash was disallowed the first score of the game. The puck stalled on top of Rask’s net, Nash slapped the top of the net with his stick to knock the puck loose and it fell in off of Rask’s shoulder. The goal was waved off because the stick may not go above the net to score.

The Finns came into the second period looking to tie up the game, but looked more like they were killing a penalty throughout, letting Canada have the upper hand throughout the period and being dominated in almost every aspect of play. Despite having few opportunities during the period, the fighting Finns pulled together a strong shift in the last few minutes of the period, giving Tuomo Ruutu the opportunity to score on Carey Price and make it a tie game at 1-1.

After the second intermission, Canada and Finland came out charged up for the final period only to lock up the scoreboard with a standoff at 1-1 behind another period of Canada taking shots at Rask and being firmly rejected despite another better effort from Canada to win it in regulation. Finland would win the Group with a regulation win, but failed to do so despite some quality chances in the Canada zone. Canada finished the third period strong with one last push to end it in regulation but Rask –improved from his 16 of 20 save performance against Austria- kept the Finns in it until the clock expired.

Going into overtime both teams had early scoring opportunities but Rask and Price did their part to reject what would’ve been great goals. Unfortunately for Finland, Doughty came up with the game winner after hitting Rask’s five-hole with an improbable score as Rask’s pads were just touching the ice. The puck slid through, off his skate and into the net to make Finland the fourth seed, and set them to play the winner of Tuesday’s Russia/Norway match on Wednesday.
This game was characterized by Canadian offensive domination and the score looks closer than the play of the game as a whole. The Finns survived to overtime behind Rask’s goaltending and protective defense, but were outshot (27 to 15) and outplayed by Canada throughout the entire game. Finland was simply outmanned and outgunned by one of the tournaments heavy favorites with the losses of Aleksander Barkov, Valtteri Filppula and Saku Koivu.
Finland’s next matchup will be in the Quarterfinals on Wednesday, February 19th against the winner of Russia vs. Norway.
Brendon Carlton

Brendon Carlton

21 year old aspiring film director/producer, writer, and lifelong fan of hockey and the Dallas Stars. Dallas Stars contributor for Hooked on Hockey Magazine
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