RECAP OF LAST MEETING BETWEEN CANADA AND FINLAND (Four Nations, Lake Placed – Nov.13, 2005):
LAKE PLACID, NY – Team Canada had the opportunity to face Team Finland in an exhibition game less than a week ago when the two teams met in Sherbrooke, QC, with Canada winning decisively 8-0. Canada’s all-time record versus Finland is 29-0-1 with the lone tie coming in January of 1999 when the two teams played to a 6-6 draw.
Canada came out of the gates flying, and scored that all important first goal at the eight minute mark of the first period. Correne Bredin took a beautiful feed from Gina Kingsbury that sent her in all alone against the Finnish netminder, and slipped one through her five hole. Canada followed that up with a second goal less than two minutes later when Sarah Vaillancourt pounced on a rebound to make it 2-0 after one.
Canada extended their lead to 3-0 when 17 year old Meghan Agosta converted on a feed from Katie Weatherston on the power play. The Finns did not quit as they replied at the four minute mark on a weird bounce in front of Canadian goalie, Sami Jo Small. Terhi Mertanen got credit for the goal and brought the Finns to within one. But that was as close as they would get as Team Canada scored their second power play goal of the period. Defenceman Carla Macleod shelved a rocket from the point past Anna-Kaisa Piiroinen. The heavily favoured Canadians were just 20 minutes away from securing their spot in the gold medal game for the ninth consecutive time at the Four Nations Cup.
Both teams played a tight checking game in the third, limiting the offensive opportunities at both ends. Finland had three power play chances, but were not able to generate any good scoring chances. Canada sat back a little and protected their lead as they held on for a 4-1 victory. The shots were very close as Canada had a slight edge 23-22. Hayley Wickenheiser was named Player of the Game. This would give Canada a 2-0-1 record for the tournament and advance them to the gold medal game. The USA faces Sweden later today, with the winner advancing to the gold medal game versus Canada.