Canada 0 - Finland 2
CANADA SUFFERS ANOTHER SETBACK IN OLYMPIC MEN’S HOCKEY
One of the last times that Canada and Finland faced off in a major international hockey event was almost a year and a half ago, in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey final. Canada edged Finland 3-2 to maintain its reputation as the top hockey country in the World. On Saturday, Canada’s reputation was on the line once again, after a disappointing effort and loss to Switzerland on Friday.
Canada had to kill off two straight penalties, but goaltender Roberto Luongo showed he was up to the task, with two great point blank saves that kept the game scoreless. Luongo was helpless however at 11:14, when Teemu Selanne registered his sixth goal of the season, on a centering pass from Saku Koivu.
Finland took a 2-0 lead, after a crazy bounce off the boards, that Niko Kapanen took advantage of. Canada was down two goals after the first period, and was outshot 14-5.
Despite numerous chances and much of the second period in the Finnish zone, Antero Nittymaki held strong, keeping Canada at bay. Canada outshot Finland 12-11 in the middle frame, but continued to trail 2-0 going into the third.
Canada continued to get pressure in the third period, but couldn’t get past Finland’s last line of defence, Nittymaki. Finland hangs on for a 2-0 win, giving Canada a second straight loss by that score.
Finland is now guaranteed first place in Group A, while Canada must now beat the Czech Republic on Tuesday to guarantee third place in its group. If Canada defeats the Czech Republic, and Italy can surprise Switzerland, Canada can still finish 2nd in the Group.
The round robin comes to an end on Tuesday, February 21st. Canada will face the Czech Republic at 4:30 pm (local)/ 10:30 am (ET), back at the Palasport Arena.
Ryan Smyth: "We can throw all the excuses out there but we didn't get off to
the start that we wanted to. Four games in five nights, whatever. You've got to put all that
aside. We're here to represent our country and we're going to do it with pride. We've got to start
playing 60 minutes and then we know that we're going to be a tough team to play against."
For more information:
Brad Pascall Vice-President, Hockey Operations