2021 mwc jun 01 can fin 2

IIHF Worlds Recap: Finland 3, Canada 2 (SO)

Pirri and Comtois had goals as Canada was edged out in a shootout in its preliminary-round finale

Jason La Rose
June 1, 2021


RIGA, Latvia – Brandon Pirri (Toronto, Ont./Chicago, NHL) and Maxime Comtois (Longueuil, Que./Anaheim, NHL) scored goals, but Canada’s National Men’s Team dropped a 3-2 decision to Finland in a shootout Tuesday to close out the preliminary round at the 2021 IIHF World Championship.

The Canadians could have wrapped up a quarterfinal spot with a win, but the single point means they still have a chance to advance; if the Germany-Latvia game later Tuesday ends in regulation time, Canada will claim the fourth and final playoff spot in Group B.

“I thought we played well today and there were stretches where we were taking the game to them,” said Canadian captain Adam Henrique (Burford, Ont./Anaheim, NHL). “[Finland is] a good team; they responded well early in the second period, but I thought we stuck to our game. It was unfortunate to give up the lead late and lose in the shootout, but again we’ll be watching tonight and hopefully get the results to be able to move on.”

Darcy Kuemper (Saskatoon, Sask./Arizona, NHL) finished with 29 saves in his best performance of the tournament, including a diving glove stop off a puck that ricocheted off a linesperson in the dying minutes of the third period with the game tied.

The teams went end-to-end during a frenetic five minutes of overtime that didn’t feature a single whistle, with Nick Paul (Mississauga, Ont./Ottawa, NHL) missing a Canadian win by just inches.

Pirri scored on Canada’s first attempt of the shootout before Oliwer Kaski, Saku Maenalainen and Ruotsalainen made good on three-straight attempts to put the Canadians on the brink.

Henrique kept Canada alive in Round 4 and Kuemper turned aside Iiro Pakarinen, but Finnish netminder Jussi Olkinuora stopped Connor Brown to secure the extra point.

It’s the third shootout between the countries at the worlds; Canada ended its 33-year gold medal drought with a 2-1 victory in 1994 before Finland returned the favour with a 4-3 win in a qualification-round game in 2009.

Canada came out absolutely flying in the first period, posting the first six shots of the game, and took a quick lead just 90 seconds in; Pirri jumped off the bench and one-timed a feed from Gabe Vilardi (Kingston, Ont./Los Angeles, NHL) past Olkinuora.

The Finns struck back only 71 seconds into the second period when Arttu Ruotsalainen snuck a quick shot under the glove of Kuemper, but Comtois shoveled in a power-play goal from the top of the crease before the end of the middle frame to restore the Canadian lead.

Canada looked to be on its way to the regulation win it needed, but Anton Lundell powered his way down the right wing before swinging a backhand pass to Ruotsalainen, who potted his second of the game with four minutes to go to tie things up.

The Canadians finished with a 34-32 edge in shots on goal in a back-and-forth affair; Canada outshot the Finns 18-5 in the first period before Finland returned the favour by a 16-6 margin in the second. Shots were even 10-10 through the third period and overtime.

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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