Canada recaptured the International Hockey Lineal Championship in their Group Round finale, thumping a determined Finnish squad 5-2 to finish atop the Paris group, giving them heavy momentum leading into the medal round.
The opening 4:06 saw a flurry of action on both Calvin Pickard and Harri Säteri, with Mitch Marner opening the scoring just 2:46 into the game on a nifty toe-drag past Atte Ohtamaa, outwaiting Ohtamaa and Säteri on a 2-on-1 before rifling the opening goal. But the Leijonat would need just 22 seconds to equalize, as Jani Lajunen potted in an easy rebound on a wide open cage with Pickard distracted on an Oskar Osala attempt. However, Colton Parayko, Canada’s newest addition, would put them back on top with an absolute bomb from the point on a Canadian power play, taking a Marner drop pass that Säteri had zero chance on to take the lead. Marner would add his second of the period, also on the power play, roughly ten minutes later to put Canada ahead 3-1 after one.
Brayden Point continued the offensive Canuck onslaught in the second, taking advantage of an awkward bounce behind Säteri’s net after a Michael Matheson point shot, potting in the loose rebound past a stunned Finish defence and goalie. Ohtamaa would cut the deficit to 4-2 late in the period on a wicked point shot that beat Pickard glove side through traffic, giving the Finns a jolt of momentum to end the second period.
But any such momentum was squashed just 34 seconds into the third period, as Matt Duchene outskated the Finnish defence and absolutely undressed Säteri on a nifty breakaway goal to set the lead to 5-2, with Pickard and the Canadian defence doing the rest to stifle any final attempt at a comeback, killing off three penalties and holding Finland to just six shots in the third to lock in the win.
With the victory, Canada captures their 64th International Hockey Lineal Championship, ending Finland’s reign after just two days, gaining back the title they lost to Switzerland just three days ago in Paris. The win also improves Canada’s all-time IHLC record against Finland to 20-8-2, and is the first meeting since last year’s Worlds final, where Canada reigned in a 2-0 victory to capture their 26th Gold; this year also marks the second straight where Canada and Finland wrap up the group round, with Finland stripping Canada of the IHLC in a 4-0 win in 2016. Canada, who has clinched first place in Group B, will now play hosts Germany in the Quarterfinals, bringing the IHLC to Cologne for the Medal Round.
02:46 – GOAL – Marner (Point, Matheson)
03:08 – GOAL – J. Lajunen (Osala)
03:58 – PEN – Järvinen, hooking
04:06 – PP GOAL – Parayko (Marner)
07:33 – PEN – Aaltonen, high sticking
13:35 – PEN – Aho, roughing
13:35 – PEN – Kukkonen, abuse of official 10 min. misconduct
13:45 – PP GOAL – Marner (Scheifele, MacKinnon)
22:30 – PEN – Morrissey, high sticking
24:49 – PEN – Pihlström, tripping
28:09 – GOAL – Point (Matheson, Parayko)
29:21 – PEN – de Haan, tripping
36:51 – GOAL – Ohtamaa (Honka, Kemppainen)
40:34 – GOAL – Duchene (Couturier)
45:41 – PEN – Skinner, elbowing
48:34 – PEN – Vlasic, cross checking
49:32 – PEN – de Haan, slashing
57:46 – PEN – Pyörälä, slashing
W: Pickard (18-20)
L: Säteri (23-28)
SHOTS ON GOAL
15+7+6 = 28
6+8+6 = 20
Goaltenders: Chad Johnson, Calvin Pickard. Defence: Calvin de Haan, Jason Demers, Chris Lee, Michael Matheson, Josh Morrissey, Colton Parayko, Marc-Édouard Vlasic (A). Forwards: Sean Couturier, Matt Duchene, Claude Giroux (C), Alex Killorn, Travis Konecny, Ryan O’Reilly (A), Nathan MacKinnon, Mitchell Marner, Brayden Point, Mark Scheifele, Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, Jeff Skinner.
Goaltenders: Joonas Korpisalo, Harri Säteri. Defence: Juuso Hietanen, Julius Honka, Topi Jaakola (A), Joonas Järvinen, Lasse Kukkonen (C), Ville Lajunen, Mikko Lehtonen, Atte Ohtamaa. Forwards: Juhamatti Aaltonen, Sebastian Aho, Valtteri Filppula (A), Markus Hännikäinen, Joonas Kemppainen, Jani Lajunen, Oskar Osala, Antti Pihlström, Mika Pyörälä, Mikko Rantanen, Tomi Sallinen, Veli-Matti Savinainen.