Canada secured a memorable loss to Finland on Thursday and advanced to the world hockey championship semifinals.
At the Nokia Arena, Canada won 4-1 with goals from Tyler Toffoli, Samuel Blais, Michael Carcone, and Jack Quinn. Teemu Hartikainen scored late in the third period for Finland yet Toffoli addressed under a moment later to ice the triumph.
“We knew it was going to be a tight game,” said Canada goalie Samuel Montembeault, who made 27 saves. “But that big third goal for us put the weight off our shoulders.”
Carcone made it 3-0 at 2:54 of the third time frame after Quinn and Blais marked Canada to an early lead.
With 3:07 remaining, Hartikainen gave the home crowd something to cheer about, but Toffoli scored an empty goal with 2:18 remaining.
“This is a great group,” Montembeault said. “Our goal coming into this tournament was to win a gold medal, and we knew we were going to have to work hard tonight to beat Finland in front of their fans.
“We are one step closer to our goal, and now we are looking forward to the semifinals.”
Finland’s Emil Larmi made 27 saves.
Canadian head coach Andre Tourigny stated, “We tried to play with speed on the forecheck to disrupt the Finns’ timing.” They are major areas of strength for so pucks, they are weighty and safeguard the puck well.
“We wanted to be really aggressive when they had the puck and take possession away from them as quickly as possible.”
Finland crushed Canada 4-3 in additional time to win gold last May. It was the third consecutive time that the different sides played for gold at this occasion.
Canada will play Latvia next, a surprise 3-1 victory over Sweden, a perennial contender.
“We have been playing well defensively and blocking a lot of shots, and we need to keep that up,” Blais said. “We have a great goalie that we have a ton of confidence in and we are going to bring our best game against Latvia.”
In the other semifinal on Saturday, Germany will take on the United States. Sunday’s medal games are scheduled.
Canada prevailed over Finland in the rematch two years later. The 2020 competition was dropped because of the Coronavirus pandemic.