Finns Overcome Weak Round Robin to Eliminate USA

Finns Overcome Weak Round Robin to Eliminate USA

Steven Ellis18 May 2017Steven Ellis»
 

After one of the worst preliminary rounds in recent Finnish hockey history, Finland will advance to the semi-finals after a 2-0 victory over USA on Thursday.

 
 
 
 

After one of the worst preliminary rounds in recent Finnish hockey history, Finland will advance to the semi-finals after a 2-0 victory over USA on Thursday.

It took until the start of the second period for either team to score, but for the Finns, it was worth it. Having trailed in six of their seven previous games, the Finns took the 1-0 lead on the power play after Jimmy Howard made big stops on Veli-Matti Savinainen and Mikko Rantanen. Rantanen kept on the puck and on his third attempt, he scooped it up and got it over the Detroit Red Wings netminder to make it 1-0 for the team in blue.

The Americans truly struggled from the start of the contest, failing to really make Harri Sateri work hard in the Finnish net. Their knack of taking penalties repeatedly throughout the game stifled any momentum they could have gotten and allowed the Finns to take control. 

While it wasn't on the power play, Finland was able to take a big 2-0 lead late in the game. At the 46th minute, Joonas Kemppainen scores his first of the tournament after some nice passing between him and Juhamatti Aaltonen, beating out Jimmy Howard on his glove-hand side to make it 2-0. The Americans were unable to get anything done after the fact, taking a few more penalties to eliminate any comeback effort as Finland managed to hold on for the shocking 2-0 victory on Thursday.

Finland will find out their opponent later when Sweden and Switzerland face off at 20:15 local time. The semi-finals will take place on Saturday afternoon, with the Finns hoping to take their new momentum into the medal round.

Follow me on Twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

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