• Wed. May 31st, 2023

Canada beats host Finland to attain semifinals at planet hockey championship


May 26, 2023

Canada secured a semifinal berth at the planet hockey championship and also avenged a memorable loss to host Finland on Thursday.

Jack Quinn, Samuel Blais, Michael Carcone and Tyler Toffoli scored as Canada posted a four-1 victory at the Nokia Arena. Teemu Hartikainen scored late in the third period for Finland but Toffoli answered significantly less than a minute later to ice the victory.

“We knew it was going to be a tight game,” stated Canada goalie Samuel Montembeault, who created 27 saves. “But that major third aim for us place the weight off our shoulders.”

Carcone created it three- at two:54 of the third period right after Quinn and Blais staked Canada to an early lead. 

Hartikainen ultimately gave the house crowd anything to cheer about when he tallied with three:07 left to play, but Toffoli scored an empty-netter with two:18 remaining.

“This is a wonderful group,” Montembeault stated. “Our aim coming into this tournament was to win a gold medal, and we knew we have been going to have to function difficult tonight to beat Finland in front of their fans.

“We are one particular step closer to our aim, and now we are searching forward to the semifinals.”

Emil Larmi created 27 saves for Finland.

“We attempted to play with speed on the forecheck to disrupt the Finns’ timing,” stated Canadian head coach Andre Tourigny. “They are so robust on pucks, they are heavy and shield the puck properly. 

“We wanted to be truly aggressive when they had the puck and take possession away from them as rapidly as feasible.”

Finland defeated Canada four-three in overtime to win gold final May possibly. It was the third straight time that the two sides played for gold at this occasion.

Canada will subsequent play Latvia, a surprise three-1 winner more than perennial contender Sweden. 

“We have been playing properly defensively and blocking a lot of shots, and we want to retain that up,” Blais stated. “We have a wonderful goalie that we have a ton of self-assurance in and we are going to bring our finest game against Latvia.”

The United States will face Germany in Saturday’s other semifinal. Medal games are scheduled for Sunday.

Finland beat Canada in 2019 but Canada won the rematch two years later. The 2020 tournament was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.