🇫🇮 Finland 4-3 Czechia 🇨🇿 (SO)
World Junior Championship Preliminary Round
Rogers Place, Edmonton 🇨🇦
Thursday, 11 August 2022
Kasper Simontaival scored the shootout winner to break a 3-3 tie and send Finland on to victory over Czechia this afternoon at Rogers Place. The win keeps Finland perfect (2-0) and drops the Czechs to 1-1 so far.
Simontaival scored on Finland’s fifth shot after Jan Myšák had tied the shootout 1-1. Roby Järventie had scored earlier for the Finns, and the game was ultimately decided when goalie Leevi Meriläinen stopped Matyáš Šapovaliv with the final shot for Czechia.
The five-minute overtime was played without a whistle and featured precious few chances. The last World Junior game to go to shots was a relegation round game between Denmark and Belarus on 04 January 2018, some 108 games ago.
These two nations have had one of the closest rivalries in U20 history. In 38 games all time coming into the game, each has won 17 and four games ended in a tie. Today was no different, a battle between two teams that had won their first games of the Group A round robin.
The Finns now have two full days off before playing Slovakia on Sunday. Czechia has a day off and then takes on hosts Canada on Saturday afternoon.
“I think we had a kind of a tough start there,” offered Kasper Puutio, one of the Finnish scorers in regulation. “But I think as per our image and identity, we found a way to kind of fight us ourselves back into the game. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how we get the win. Just finding ways to win.”
“We played a great match,” said Czechia’s Jiří Kulich. “The shootout is just a lottery. Maybe in a soccer match we would have won.”
The Czechs opened the scoring at 6:36 on a shot Meriläinen would like to have back. Jaroslav Chmelař took a routine shot from a bad angle that eluded the Finnish goalkeeper. They made it 2-0 five minutes later on a power play. Myšák won the offensive-zone faceoff cleanly back to Kulich, and his quick shot beat Meriläinen cleanly.
Finland had a golden chance to get on the board soon after thanks to a terrible giveaway by Stanislav Svozil in front of his goal. He made a backpass without looking, and Aatu Räty was there to claim the errant effort. Räty made a nice deke, but Bednář was that much better to keep it a 2-0 Czechia lead.
Suomi did get on the board later in the period on a power play of its own. Järventie snapped a one-timer past Bednář from the right faceoff dot at 16:28 to cut the lead in half and send Finland to the dressing room with some hope after a lacklustre period.
Indeed, the Finns came out a more determined group and tied the game at 3:39. Puutio beat Bednář with a shot to the short side that was also one he should have stopped.
“It was just a pretty casual faceoff play there,” Puutio explained. “I sensed there was a lot of time for me, so I just set it off the tee there and let it rip.”
Czechia coach Radim Rulík challenged the play for goalie interference, but the call stood and the Czechs incurred a minor penalty. Joakim Kemell wired a shot off the post during the advantage, and soon after Gabriel Szturc had a great chance short-handed but was stymied by Meriläinen.
The Finns took their first lead of the game midway through the third. Aatu Räty converted a nice pass from the side of the goal by captain Roni Hirvonen, snapping a shot to the far side of goalie Jan Bednář. The lead lasted all of two minutes, however.
Meriläinen made a sensational right pad save off an in-close chance by Michal Gut, but Gut got the puck back in front of the goal and Myšák was right there to swipe it in and tie the game, 3-3. That set the stage for extra time.
06:36 – 🇨🇿 GOAL – Chmelař
10:02 – 🇫🇮 PEN – Järventie, tripping
11:31 – 🇨🇿 PP GOAL – Kulich (Myšák)
16:14 – 🇨🇿 PEN – Gut, tripping
16:28 – 🇫🇮 PP GOAL – Järventie (Heimosalmi, Kemell)
23:39 – 🇫🇮 GOAL – Puutio (Simontaival, Jurmo)
23:39 – 🇨🇿 PEN – team, delay of game
45:03 – 🇫🇮 PEN – Lambert, hooking
48:18 – 🇨🇿 PEN – Szturc, hooking
50:24 – 🇫🇮 GOAL – Räty (Hirvonen, Niemelä)
52:38 – 🇨🇿 GOAL – Myšák (Gut, Kulich)
53:23 – 🇨🇿 PEN – Měchura, tripping
🇫🇮 Hirvonen missed
🇨🇿 Kulich stopped
🇫🇮 Järventie scored
🇨🇿 Gut stopped
🇫🇮 Räty stopped
🇨🇿 Chmelař stopped
🇫🇮 Kemell missed
🇨🇿 Myšák scored
🇫🇮 Simontaival scored
🇨🇿 Šapovaliv missed
W: 🇫🇮 Meriläinen (23-26)
L: 🇨🇿 Bednář (28-31)
SHOTS ON GOAL
🇫🇮 8+10+10+3+1 = 32
🇨🇿 12+7+7+0+0 = 26
🇫🇮 Goaltenders: Juha Jatkola, Leevi Meriläinen. Defence: Aleksi Heimosalmi, Joni Jurmo, Topi Niemelä (A), Petteri Nurmi, Kasper Puutio (A), Ruben Rafkin, Matias Rajaniemi, Eemil Viro. Forwards: Samuel Helenius, Roni Hirvonen (C), Roby Järventie, Oliver Kapanen, Joakim Kemell, Ville Koivunen, Brad Lambert, Eetu Liukas, Joel Määttä, Aatu Räty, Kasper Simontaival, Kalle Väisänen.
🇨🇿 Goaltenders: Jan Bednář, Tomáš Suchánek. Defence: Aleš Čech, Tomáš Hamara, David Jiříček (A), Štěpán Němec, Stanislav Svozil (A), David Špaček, Jiri Ticháček. Forwards: Jaroslav Chmelař, Michal Gut, Petr Hauser, Ivan Ivan, Jakub Kos, Jiří Kulich, Adam Měchura, Matouš Menšík, Jan Myšák (C), Martin Ryšavý, Gabriel Szturc, Matyáš Šapovaliv, Tomáš Urban.
|🇫🇮 FINLAND (C)
(since 23 Dec 2021)
|Last Title||08 Nov 2019|
(+ 1 tie)
|First IHLC Meeting (FIN vs. CZE)
🇫🇮 FIN 4-2 TCH 🇨🇿 – 02 Jan 1980 – WJC – Helsinki 🇫🇮
|Previous IHLC Meeting (FIN vs. CZE)
🇫🇮 FIN 6-4 CZE 🇨🇿 – 27 Jul 2022 – EX – Vierumäki 🇫🇮
|Last IHLC Game
🇫🇮 FIN 6-1 LAT 🇱🇻 – 09 Aug 2022 – WJC – Edmonton 🇨🇦
|Next IHLC Game
🇫🇮 FIN 9-3 SVK 🇸🇰 – 14 Aug 2022 – WJC – Edmonton 🇨🇦
Article Credit: 2022 World Junior Championship
Photo Credit: 2022 World Junior Championship – IIHF – HHOF – IOC