Finland eliminates Canada in come-from-behind victory

Finland eliminates Canada in come-from-behind victory

Steven Ellis03 Jan 2019Steven Ellis»
 

Team Canada will not have a shot at their third-straight medal after Finland came from behind to win 2-1 in overtime in the first quarter-final game in Vancouver on Wednesday.

 
 
 
 

Team Canada will not have a shot at their third-straight medal after Finland came from behind to win 2-1 in overtime in the first quarter-final game in Vancouver on Wednesday.

With the win, Finland will meet up with Switzerland in the semifinal game on Friday. 

The goaltending at both ends were spectacular through 40 minutes, with Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopping 15 shots while Michael DiPietro kept out all 23 attempts by the Finns. DiPietro, in particular, made a few good stops on Eeli Tolvanen, who spent a good portion of the start of the year with the NHL’s Nashville Predators, with DiPietro having one of his best performances at the World Juniors.

At 21:30, the game found someone to break the ice. Canadian defenceman Ian Mitchell would score his first goal of the tournament after Barrett Hayton made a one-handed deke in the high slot, getting the puck out to Mitchell. Mitchell, who was pinching in on the play, would wire a snap shot past Luukkonen, giving Canada the 1-0 lead after the Finns had a few good chances to end the opening frame. 

The goal looked like the decider in a very tightly-contested game, but with 46 seconds to go, the Finns tied it up. Eeli Tolvanen would make a great play to get the puck to the net, even picking up his own rebound to the left of DiPietro. His last chance would bounce off of Aleksi Heponiemi, who didn't even see the shot happen as he tied the game up to force overtime.

In overtime, one of the worst ways Canada could have lost happened. On home ice, Noah Dobson took a pass from Cody Glass on a wide-open net, only to have his stick break in a scoring position. Finland went the other way, with Toni Utunen taking a feed from Heponiemi, beating DiPietro up high to win the game and eliminate Canada on home ice.

Follow me on Twitter, @StevenEllisNHL. 

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