Canada’s juniors will not be heading to the semi-finals at the world junior hockey championship, after falling to Finland 6-5 in a nail-biter of a match Saturday.
Canada, the defending tournament champion, grabbed the lead early, but by the end of the first period, the teams began trading goals that left fans on the edges of their seats.
Finland was finally able to nab the win in the final six minutes of play, with the help of a two-man advantage.
The first goal of the game came courtesy of Travis Konecny early in the first period. Minutes later, Dylan Strome added another for Canada. Just before the end of the first period, Finland’s Patrik Laine slid a shot through Mackenzie Blackwood’s pads, to the cheers of the Helsinki home crowd.
As the second period got underway, Finland’s Antti Kalapudas got a breakaway and tied it up with a wrist shot over Blackwood’s glove. Then Canada scored again, this time with a shot from Lawson Crouse.
That prompted Finland to pull goalie Veinie Vehvilainen in favour of Kaapo Kahkonen. Shortly after, Canada was handed a penalty for slashing, allowing Finland to get in back-to-back goals on the power play.
As the third period got underway, Canada’s Mitch Marner tied it up on a power play, but just moments later, Finland’s Sebastian Aho brought the tally to 5-4. Marner was able to score again in the final seconds of the power play, tying it up yet again.
But a couple of penalties against Canada left Finland with a two-man advantage mid-way through the third, and the Finns were was able to take over the lead in the final five minutes of the period.
Canada’s juniors struggled throughout this tournament, earning just one win, a shootout win and two losses in the preliminary round.
Finland will now face Sweden in the semifinals.