For the second straight game on home ice at the 2013 Karjala Tournament, Finland pulled out a late 3-2 victory, this time on the stick of Jori Lehterä to defeat Czechia, to move one game closer to winning the tournament, and retaining the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
However, unlike their last game against Russia, Finland started this game in a 2-0 hole, giving up power play tallies to both Jakub Petružálek and Jan Kovář on Finland’s only two penalties through forty minutes, even though both sides were evenly matched in shots. Finnish goalie Niko Hovinen was shakier than Jussi Rynnäs against Russia, but recovered enough in the latter 30 minutes of playing to give his team a chance to win.
Finland’s comeback was started late in the second on a Petri Kontiola breakaway goal past Jakub Kovář to split the deficit to 2-1. The Leijonat exploded offensively in the third period, tying the game 4:21 into the third on a Mika Pyörälä rocket from the point. While there was some referee housekeeping that took momentum away from both sides, with Sami Lepistö and Zbynek Irgl being ejected from the game, the Finns continued to press on Kovář, with Lehterä eventually breaking the deadlock on a juicy Kovář rebound with just over five minutes to go, to get the go-ahead, and eventual game-winning, goal.
With the win, Finland wins their fourth straight game as International Hockey League champions, as part of their 46th reign as champions, a title that they won from Russia in August at the Czech Hockey Games. Finland and Czechia last faced off for the IHLC at the Oddset Hockey Games in February, with Finland winning 3-0 to win their 44th IHLC. Finland faces their cross-border rivals Sweden next in the final Karjala Tournament game.
12:42 – PEN – Pihlström, hooking
13:40 – PP GOAL – Petružálek (Kutlák)
14:37 – PEN – Irgl, hooking
20:44 – PEN – Kukkonen, slashing
22:37 – PP GOAL – Jan Kovář (T. Kaberle, Nedorost)
28:15 – PEN – Petružálek, kneeing
36:08 – GOAL – Kontiola (Aaltonen)
44:21 – GOAL – Pyörälä (Lepistö, Kontiola)
53:44 – PEN – Lepistö, roughing minor, major + game misconduct
53:44 – PEN – Irgl, roughing major + game misconduct
54:40 – PEN – Smoleňák, tripping
54:45 – GOAL – Lehterä (Enlund, Jaakola)
W: Hovinen (17-19)
L: Jak. Kovář (22-25)
SHOTS ON GOAL
5+10+10 = 25
8+7+4 = 19
Goaltenders: Niko Hovinen, Jussi Rynnäs. Defence: Juuso Hietanen, Topi Jaakola, Jere Karalahti, Lasse Kukkonen (A), Sami Lepistö, Tuukka Mäntylä, Jyri Marttinen, Ossi Väänänen. Forwards: Juhamatti Aaltonen, Jonas Enlund, Niklas Hagman, Teemu Hartikainen, Jarkko Immonen, Leo Komarov (C), Petri Kontiola, Jori Lehterä (A), Oskar Osala, Antti Pihlström, Mika Pyörälä, Sakari Salminen, Petteri Wirtanen.
Goaltenders: Jakub Kovář, Jakub Štěpánek. Defence: Milan Doudera, Tomáš Kaberle (A), Lukáš Krajíček, Jakub Krejčík, Zdeněk Kutlák, Jakub Nakládal, Jan Piskáček. Forwards: Jan Buchtele, Petr Hubáček (A), Zbyněk Irgl, Lukáš Kašpar, Robert Kousal, Jan Kovář, Václav Nedorost, Jakub Petružálek, Ivan Rachůnek, Tomáš Rolinek (C), Ondřej Roman, Jiří Sekáč, Radek Smoleňák, Petr Vrána.