Finns Stop Slovenian Scare

Finns Stop Slovenian Scare

Steven Ellis10 May 2017Steven Ellis»

They didn't look like the better team at the start, but Finland managed to defeat Slovenia by a score of 5-2 at the World Hockey Championships.


They didn't look like the better team at the start, but Finland managed to defeat Slovenia by a score of 5-2 at the World Hockey Championships.

After a terrible start to the tournament, Finland was hoping for better news against Slovenia, the team that recently earned promotion from the Division IA tournament last year. In three previous games against Slovenia, Finland had outscored them 21-3, a sign that, if it continued today, could have paid off well for the Finns.

But at 14:21, Slovenia's fourth line got the first marker of the game. Nik Pem acted as a pick on two Finnish defenders to allow Anze Kuralt room to play with the puck. Kuralt would then take a nice wrist shot that blew over Harri Sateri's glove, giving Slovenia the 1-0 lead.

On Finland's first shot of the second period at 4:06, the team finally managed to get on the board. After his team won the faceoff, Veli Matti Savinainen sent a wicked slap shot over Gasper Kroselj and in to make it 1-1, giving Finland some new-found hope.

And that's exactly what Finland needed to get back in the game. Playing on the power play a minute later, Mikko Rantanen picked up the Savinainen rebound in front of the crease and sent a quick shot in, scoring to make it 2-1 after a slow start to the game.

To the Finns dismay, Slovenia tied the game up early in the third. At 5:50 in the period on the power play, Rob Ticar poked in a loose puck between Sateri's legs and in to tie it up at two, scaring the pre-game favourites.

But it wasn't to be for Slovenia thanks to a pair of goals just 64 seconds apart for Finland. At 49:30, Carolina Hurricanes star Sebastian Aho took a pass from Mikko Rantanen and sent a fast snipe over Korselj found the back of the net, giving Finland the lead again. Shortly after, Markus Hannikainen scored from a tough angle after the puck bounced off of a defender in front and past the Slovenian netminder, giving Finland a lead they'd never surrender. Tomi Sallinen added an empty netter to help cap off the victory, a 5-2 win for Finland.

Finland will try and keep their quarter-final hopes alive with a meeting against Norway on Saturday afternoon. Slovenia will find themselves back in action on Friday when they meet up with the Czech Republic at 16:15.

Follow me on Twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

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