Canada, on the strength of a two-goal game from Drew Doughty, won the rubber match of Group B at the Sochi Olympics in overtime, clinching the group, avoiding the Qualification Playoffs, and winning the International Hockey Lineal Championship in the process.
In a very calculated game from both sides, with a stunningly low number of penalties (only one each in the entire game), Canada and Finland kept the game largely in the middle of the ice, with defensive play dominating. Doughty was able to open the scoring midway through the first, capitalizing on Finland’s only penalty of the game to Jarkko Immonen to blast a rocket from the blueline past Tuukka Rask to take a 1-0 lead. However, Finland was able to regroup, and with two minutes remaining in the second, Tuomo Ruutu evened things up with a tip-in past Carey Price.
The third period solved nothing, with a limited ten shots total between both sides, so a five-minute overtime was played to determine Group B’s ultimate winner. Capitalizing again on his shot power, quick release and sheer speed, Doughty again caught Rask looking, wiring a shot to Rask’s far side that beat him only 2:32 into overtime, taking the win for Canada and placing the Leijonen second in the group. However, thanks to overall points throughout all groups, Finland will still receive a bye into the Quarterfinals, to face the winner of Russia or Norway.
With the win, Canada captures its 58th International Hockey Lineal Championship, its first since April 2012, just prior to the start of the 2012 World Championships in Helsinki. Finland entered the Sochi Games as IHLC holders, successfully defending against Austria and Norway before dropping the title. The last time these two met over the IHLC was in April 2008, in an exhibition just prior to the 2008 Worlds in Québec City, with Canada winning 3-2. Canada next faces the winner of the Switzerland-Latvia Qualification Playoff game on February 19.
12:28 – PEN – Immonen, interference
13:44 – PP GOAL – Doughty (Weber, Crosby)
18:05 – PEN – Nash, high sticking
38:00 – GOAL – Ruutu (J. Jokinen, Väänänen)
52:32 – GOAL – Doughty (Carter)
W: Price (14-15)
L: Rask (25-27)
SHOTS ON GOAL
8+9+8+2 = 27
8+4+2+1 = 15
Goaltenders: Roberto Luongo, Carey Price. Defence: Jay Bouwmeester, Drew Doughty, Dan Hamhuis, Duncan Keith, Alex Pietrangelo, Marc-Édouard Vlasic, Shea Weber (A). Forwards: Jamie Benn, Patrice Bergeron, Jeff Carter, Sidney Crosby (C), Matt Duchene, Ryan Getzlaf, Chris Kunitz, Patrick Marleau, Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Patrick Sharp, John Tavares, Jonathan Toews (A).
Goaltenders: Antti Niemi, Tuukka Rask. Defence: Juuso Hietanen, Lasse Kukkonen, Sami Lepistö, Olli Määttä, Sami Salo, Kimmo Timonen (A), Ossi Väänänen, Sami Vatanen. Forwards: Juhamatti Aaltonen, Mikael Granlund, Jarkko Immonen, Jussi Jokinen, Olli Jokinen, Leo Komarov (A), Petri Kontiola, Lauri Korpikoski, Jori Lehterä, Antti Pihlström, Tuomo Ruutu, Teemu Selänne (C).