Finland defeats Canada for gold medal at hockey world championship

Canada will take home silver

Canada had to settle for silver at the world hockey championship after a 3-1 loss to Finland in Sunday’s final.

Finnish Captain Marko Anttila’s second goal of the game broke a 1-1 tie early in the third period as the Finns defeated Canada for a second time at the tournament. Harri Pesonen added an insurance goal with four minutes to play and goaltender Kevin Lankinen made 42 saves.

Shea Theodore had Canada’s only goal and Matt Murray made 19 saves.

The gold is Finland’s first at the tournament since 2011. Canada’s silver pushes its medal tally to four in the last five years.

Theodore gave Canada a 1-0 lead with 9:58 left to play in the first. The 23-year-old defenceman from Langley, B.C., picked up a feed from forward Anthony Mantha near the Finnish blue line, then jetted down the slot before depositing the puck high over the glove of Kevin Lankinen. Canada outshot Finland 15-9 in the first period.

Anttila tied the game early in the second period on a power play. Theodore was called for tripping at the 2:15 mark and Anttila’s sharp shot got through Murray’s legs 20 seconds into the man advantage. It was Anttila’s second goal in as many days. He also scored in Finland’s 1-0 upset win over Russia in Saturday’s semifinal.

Anttila came through again with his second of the game 2:35 into the third, igniting the pro-Finland crowd in sold-out Ondrej Nepela Arena with a shot that beat Murray high. Harri Pesonen added an insurance goal with 4:06 left to play in the third.

Canada came from behind with late goals to win games against Slovakia and Switzerland earlier in the tournament, and kept the pressure on during the dying minutes. But Lankinen was there to stop them.

Finland iced an unheralded roster that featured only two players who spent any time in the NHL this season. Finland opened its tournament by handing the Canadians their only loss of the preliminary round and ultimately finished second in the Group A standings behind Canada.

The Finns then knocked off the two-time defending champions from Sweden in the quarterfinal before eliminating the undefeated, star-studded Russian team in the semis. Draft-eligible Kaapo Kakko led the scoring for Finland with six goals, while Lankinen came into Sunday’s game with a 6-1 record, .933 save percentage and 1.57 goals-against average.

Canada is the only team to have reached the semifinal at the world championship for the last five straight years. The Canadians won gold in 2015 and 2016 and silver in 2017 before finishing fourth in 2018.

Sunday’s final appearance marked an impressive return to the bench for Canada’s coach Alain Vigneault. The veteran NHL coach was dismissed by the New York Rangers at the end of the 2017-18 season. After a year away from the game, he’ll take over the coaching duties for the Philadelphia Flyers in 2019-20.

Earlier Sunday, Russia beat the Czech Republic 3-2 in a shootout for bronze. Russia was outshot 50-30 through 70 minutes of play, including 10 minutes of sudden-death 3-on-3 overtime, but outscored the Czech Republic 2-0 in the shootout on goals from Ilya Kovalchuk and Nikita Gusev.

ALSO READ: Faces of concussions: NHL’s head-on battle with an epidemic

Carol Schram, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Class of ‘69 recognized

Rimbey and District Oldtimers Association holds 64th reunion

Fun for the whole family

Grand opening for Liberty Hall coming soon

Council approached about changes

Looking at changes to outdoor arena at Rimbey Christian School

Buck Lake/Alder Flats one step close to new fire hall

County of Wetaskiwin council approves purchase of necessary land

Raptors announcer credited with calming massive crowd after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

Two people arrested after Wetaskiwin vehicle theft

Wetaskiwin RCMP respond to theft of motor vehicle

Sexting teens at risk of harms including depression, substance use: study

Use of alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana were also found to be associated with sexting

Deadline for cabinet to decide future of Trans Mountain expansion is today

International Trade Minister Jim Carr described the decision as ‘very significant’

UPDATE: Two shot, two arrested at Toronto Raptors victory rally

The team and several dignitaries, including Justin Trudeau, remained on stage

Oil and gas sector cautious as deadline on Trans Mountain decision nears

Trudeau government expected to announce whether it will approve pipeline for second time on Tuesday

Feds announce $50M strategy to fight dementia

Emphasis is on prevention and and supporting caregivers

Federal Liberals’ plan to help first-time homebuyers to kick in weeks before election

Ottawa to pick up 5% of a mortgage on existing homes for households that earn under $120,000 a year

Most Read