Canada beats host Finland to attain semifinals at planet hockey championship

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 much less than a minute later to ice the victory.

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

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

Hartikainen lastly gave the property 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 fantastic group,” Montembeault mentioned. “Our target coming into this tournament was to win a gold medal, and we knew we have been going to have to function challenging tonight to beat Finland in front of their fans.

“We are 1 step closer to our target, and now we are seeking forward to the semifinals.”

Emil Larmi produced 27 saves for Finland.

“We attempted to play with speed on the forecheck to disrupt the Finns’ timing,” mentioned Canadian head coach Andre Tourigny. “They are so powerful on pucks, they are heavy and defend the puck nicely. 

“We wanted to be seriously aggressive when they had the puck and take possession away from them as immediately as achievable.”

Finland defeated Canada four-three in overtime to win gold final Could. 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 nicely defensively and blocking a lot of shots, and we want to hold that up,” Blais mentioned. “We have a fantastic goalie that we have a ton of self-assurance in and we are going to bring our very best 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.

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