RED DEER, Alta. – Eemil Vinni made 21 saves to earn Player of the Game and lift Finland to 3-1 win over Czechia in the bronze medal game Saturday afternoon at the
2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
The Finns opened the scoring late in the first period as top
prospect Aron Kiviharju scored his first of the tournament, beating
Czechia’s Michael Hrabal to the blocker side from the right face-off dot.
Kiviharju finished the tournament with six points (1-5—6).
But Czechia pushed back to tie the game with 25 seconds left in the period
as Eduard Sale beat Vinni past the glove from the top of the slot to notch his
fourth goal and sixth point of the tournament.
At 13:29 in the second period, Arrtu Alasiurua tapped home a puck that sat between the feet of a Czech defender off a nice play from Kasper
Halttunen to give Finland a 2-1 lead.
Hrabal finished with another strong performance. The six-foot-six Czech goaltender
made 22 saves and ended the tournament with a .917 save percentage across
four starts. The Finns wrapped up the bronze medal with a shutdown third
period, adding an empty-net goal by Jesse Kiiskinen to cap the scoring.
The medal is the first for Finland since 2012 when it claimed silver.