CANADA FALLS TO FINLAND, FINISHES SECOND IN GROUP B
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – Despite outshooting its opposition and being perfect on the penalty kill, Canada’s National Men’s Team fell 4-0 to Finland on Tuesday to finish second in Group B at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
The loss ended Canada’s 16-game winning streak at the men’s worlds. It also marked the first time the team had been shut out since 2006, when it lost 5-0 to Finland in the bronze medal game.
After allowing only four goals in its previous six games, Canada gave up as many to a Finnish team that completed the preliminary round 7-0-0-0.
Canada went 6-0-0-1 and now faces Sweden in the quarter-finals.
There was a sense this could be a low-scoring game; coming in Canada and Finland had surrendered a combined 10 goals in 12 games.
Canada did its best to put Finland on its heels early, firing six shots on net over the first four minutes. Its tournament-best penalty kill – operating at a 94 percent success rate – didn’t allow Finland to set up anything in the offensive zone on its first man-advantage.
The Canadians went five for five on the penalty kill. It was at even strength where things went wrong.
A three-goal second period gave Finland control of the game.
Lack of communication deep in the Canadian zone led to the first Finnish goal. Cam Talbot (Caledonia, Ont./Edmonton, NHL) played the puck behind his net, unaware of a forechecking Mikko Rantanen closing in on him. Rantenen sent the puck to the point for Tommi Kivisto, who took a few strides in from the blue line and beat Talbot with a shot through traffic.
It marked the first time Canada had trailed at the worlds since its opening game against the United States.
Ten minutes later Leo Komarov’s shot from just inside the face-off circle went under Talbot’s glove arm and trickled over the goal line.
Less than three minutes after that the lead was three. Mika Pyorala sent a centering pass to Sebastian Aho. Aho hit the post, but Pyorala followed the play and put the puck into the open net.
Finland added one more early in the third. Talbot stopped Pyorala’s shot from the wing, but sent a big rebound out to Jamo Koskiranta.
Canada finally got a power play opportunity of its own 8:21 into the third period, but was unable to use the man-advantage to break up Mikko Koskinen’s shutout.
Canada outshot Finland 21-19.