Finland, without its NHL stars, beat Canada 3-1 (0-1, 1-0, 2-0) in the Hockey World Championship final on Sunday evening in front of 9,085 spectators in Bratislava. While Canada had already won 26 titles since 1920, the Finns had only won two (eight silver and three bronze medals in 57 appearances) in 1995 and 2011.
Despite initial pressure from the Canadians, it was the Finns who had the first dangerous opportunity on a penalty kick. Oliwer Kaski failed to transform his attempt against Matt Murray. Shortly after a big chance missed by Sam Reinhart (8th), Shea Theodore was able to present herself alone against the Nordic goal. The Canadian defender did not miss such a chance to open the scoring (11th, 1-0). At the end of the first half, Philippe Myers came close to doubling the lead, but his shot finished on the crossbar.
In numerical superiority, the Finns equalized on a mistake by goalkeeper Matt Murray. Marko Anttila slipped the puck between his legs to level the score (23rd, 1-1). This goal woke up the Finnish who then largely dominated Canada. Kaapo Kakko and Harri Pesonen set fire to the opponents’ defence and came very close to scoring the second goal.
Captain Marko Antilla scored the second goal in the 43rd minute (1-2). The winger was already the only Nordic player to score in the semi-final against Russia the day before (1-0). Langnau’s Harri Pesonen ensured Finland’s success in the 56th minute with a sudden strike (1-3).
The Finnish tournament was fabulous from start to finish. With a limited number of players compared to the big team like Canadia and Russia, they have gone all the way. To the glitter of the NHL players, they opposed the strength of the team.
Russia won the bronze medal after defeating Czech Republic
Russia needed penalties to beat the Czech Republic (3-2) in Sunday’s World Championship final in Bratislava, Slovakia. Grigorenko (14th) and Anisimov (21st) were the two Russian scorers, while Repik (14th) and Kubalik (19th) scored for the Czechs.