On a day when Canadian shoppers go hunting for bargains, Team Canada fans were clearly sold on what the 2005 World Junior edition has to offer.
Dustin Boyd led the way with two goals as Canada defeated Finland 5-1 in the Boxing Day tournament opener in front of 16,083 fans at Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum, many sporting red-and-white jerseys.
Blake Comeau added a goal and an assist and Andrew Cogliano had two helpers, while David Bolland and Kyle Chipchura also scored for the host team. Canada’s power play clicked nicely, going 2-for-8 on the night.
“We had to play to our identity,” said Sutter. “In our past history with these two countries, when we play each other it’s a pretty North American-styled game. The Finns play hard. We knew that we would have to match that and go beyond that.”
Finland’s Aki Seitsonen, who plays for the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders, had the only goal for the visitors.
“We knew Canada would capitalize on those PP calls, like they did during their exhibition games,” said Seitsonen. “It’s unacceptable for us.”
“We just have to play better,” said Finland’s Lauri Korpikoski. “We need to help [our goalie] more.”
Justin Pogge made 16 saves for the victory, while Finland’s Tuukka Rask had 26 stops. Both goalies are draft picks of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“It’s nice to get a win over a guy picked in the first round,” said Pogge. “But I mean, he’s a great goalie and he played pretty well tonight.”
It was a solid, physical game for the entire Canadian roster, while the Finns’ confidence seemed to deflate with each Canadian goal.
“Team Canada played a very well organized game, in all the parts of ice hockey: five on five, defence, offence, power play,” said Finnish Head Coach Hannu Aravirta.
“It was a hard game for me,” said Rask. “They made some good passes to stretch me out and they came with speed.”
Just the way Canadian Head Coach Brent Sutter likes, his team came out hitting. Michael Blunden laid a huge bodycheck deep in the Finnish end but was called for elbowing at 22 seconds, much to the crowd’s displeasure.
After the Canadians killed off the penalty, they were unable to capitalize on a 3-on-1 rush. Although Rask was caught out of position, Kris Russell backhanded a shot high and wide of the gaping Finnish cage.
Finnish defenceman Tommi Leinonen took two straight minors in the first period, including a tripping call on Comeau at 8:32, and the Finns paid the price. From behind the Finnish goal line, Steve Downie sent a neat centering pass to Boyd parked in front, and the product of the Moose Jaw Warriors flipped a shot past Rask’s right pad at 10:23 to make it 1-0 Canada.
The ice seemed rough and bumpy at times, and that had an effect. At 15:52, Canada went up 2-0 when Blake Comeau pounced on an unexpected loose puck just inside the Finnish blueline and raced in alone on Rask. The Canadian forward’s shot flipped up and over the goalie, and just landed inside the goal line.
“It was a great chip by (Ryan) O’Marra and I looked up and I had a breakaway,” added Comeau. “(Rask) kind of cuffed me when he put up the pad stack but lucky enough it hit the post and went in.”
Early in the second period, Dustin Boyd capitalized on a Timo Seppänen miscue at the offensive blueline and zoomed in alone on Rask, who stumbled and barely stopped Boyd’s attempt. Teemu Laakso was called for slashing on the play, and Canada took advantage on the power play less than two minutes later. David Bolland’s long shot bounced over the glove of Rask, who was sliding around haphazardly, and the puck trickled in, giving Canada a 3-0 lead at 3:17 of the middle frame.
Finland was virtually unable to generate offensive chances for most of the second period.
At 14:24, Russell put a shot through Rask that rebounded off the goalie’s left post, and Boyd was there, lunging for the loose puck and putting it high into the net to make it 4-0.
At 2:45 of the third period, Pouliot was sent off for roughing, and Laakso put a shot from the blueline off the crossbar on the power play. Just over six minutes later, the Finns finally capitalized with the man advantage. Seitsonen stepped into a low slapper from the blueline that whizzed past a screened Pogge’s left skate and finally got Finland on the board.
But that was as close as the Finns would get. With 5:57 remaining in the third period, Chipchura picked up the rebound off a spectacular Andrew Cogliano rush and deftly deposited it past Rask to round out the scoring.
Final shots favoured Canada 31-17.
The Player of the Game for Canada was Dustin Boyd, while Aki Seitsonen was honoured for Finland.
Canada stretched its winning streak at the IIHF World Junior Championships versus Finland to four straight games dating back to the 2003 tournament. Canada has not lost a game in World Junior competition since a 4-3 defeat versus the USA in the 2004 gold medal game.
The Canadian anthem was heard twice at this game, sung before the first drop of the puck and played afterwards in honour of the Maple Leaf victory.
Canada’s next game is Wednesday, 28 December versus Switzerland, while Finland takes on the USA that day.
“The tournament goes on and we will learn from our mistakes,” said Aravirta. “I’m sure we will be more ready against the USA on Wednesday.”
00:22 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Blunden, charging
05:50 – 🇫🇮 PEN – Leinonen, holding
08:32 – 🇫🇮 PEN – Leinonen, tripping
10:23 – 🇨🇦 PP GOAL – Boyd (Downie, Cogliano)
11:46 – 🇨🇦 PEN – O’Marra, holding
15:52 – 🇨🇦 GOAL – Comeau (O’Marra)
20:29 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Toews, holding
21:32 – 🇫🇮 PEN – Laakso, slashing
23:17 – 🇨🇦 PP GOAL – Bolland (Bourdon, Pouliot)
24:15 – 🇫🇮 PEN – Komarov, boarding
25:12 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Pouliot, hooking
34:24 – 🇨🇦 GOAL – Boyd (Russell, Comeau)
35:57 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Parent, interference
42:45 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Pouliot, roughing
45:23 – 🇫🇮 PEN – Laakso, tripping
48:23 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Downie, tripping
48:49 – 🇫🇮 PP GOAL – Seitsonen (Jokinen, Korpikoski)
49:46 – 🇫🇮 PEN – Kolehmainen, interference
50:14 – 🇫🇮 PEN – Korpikoski, cross checking
54:03 – 🇨🇦 GOAL – Chipchura (Cogliano, Bourdon)
55:19 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Parent, high sticking
55:55 – 🇫🇮 PEN – Komarov, hooking
57:54 – 🇫🇮 PEN – Sailio, hooking
57:54 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Bertram, roughing
57:55 – 🇫🇮 PEN – Komarov, 10 min. misconduct
W: 🇨🇦 Pogge (16-17)
L: 🇫🇮 Rask (26-31)
SHOTS ON GOAL
🇨🇦 7+11+13 = 31
🇫🇮 8+5+4 = 17
🇨🇦 Goaltenders: Devan Dubnyk, Justin Pogge. Defence: Cam Barker, Luc Bourdon, Kris Letang, Ryan Parent, Sasha Pokulok, Kris Russell, Marc Staal. Forwards: Daniel Bertram, Michael Blunden, Dave Bolland, Dustin Boyd, Kyle Chipchura, Andrew Cogliano, Blake Comeau, Steve Downie, Guillaume Latendresse, Ryan O’Marra, Benoit Pouliot, Tom Pyatt, Jonathan Toews.
🇫🇮 Goaltenders: Tuukka Rask, Karri Rämö. Defence: Juho Jokinen, Matti Koistinen, Risto Korhonen, Teemu Laakso, Tommi Leinonen, Erkka Leppänen, Timo Seppänen. Forwards: Mikko Alikoski, Henri Heino, Jesse Joensuu, Janne Kolehmainen, Leo Komarov, Lauri Korpikoski, Mikko Lehtonen, Perttu Lindgren, Jari Sailio, Aki Seitsonen, Tomas Sinisalo, Lauri Tukonen, Petteri Wirtanen.
|🇨🇦 CANADA (C)||vs.||FINLAND 🇫🇮|
(since 22 Dec 2005)
|Last Title||12 Nov 2005|
(+ 5 ties)
|First IHLC Meeting (CAN vs. FIN)
🇫🇮 FIN 5-0 CAN 🇨🇦 – 22 Dec 1978 – EX – Savonlinna 🇫🇮
|Previous IHLC Meeting (CAN vs. FIN)
🇫🇮 FIN 4-1 CAN 🇨🇦 – 30 Dec 2001 – WJC – Hradec Králové 🇨🇿
|Last IHLC Game
🇨🇦 CAN 8-1 RUS 🇷🇺 – 22 Dec 2005 – EX – Kamloops 🇨🇦
|Next IHLC Game
🇨🇦 CAN 4-3 SUI 🇨🇭 – 28 Dec 2005 – WJC – Vancouver 🇨🇦
Article Credit: Hockey Canada