CANADA’S QUARTER-FINALS CURSE CONTINUES
MINSK, Belarus – Iiro Pakarinen scored with 3:08 left in the third and Finland defeated Canada on Thursday in the quarter-finals of the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. The loss marked the fifth straight year that Canada’s National Men’s Team has fallen in the final eight.
Jori Lehtera took the puck from Tyler Myers (Calgary, Alta./Buffalo, NHL) just inside the Canadian blue line and found Pakarinen in the slot for the game-winner.
Juuso Hietanen and Olli Palola also scored for Finland. Pekka Rinne picked up the win.
Kyle Turris (New Westminster, B.C./Ottawa, NHL) and Mark Scheifele (Kitchener, Ont./Winnipeg, NHL) scored for Canada. Ben Scrivens (Spruce Grove, Alta./Edmonton, NHL) took the loss in net.
“I don’t think we played a bad game,” said Jason Chimera (Edmonton, Alta./Washington, NHL). “We were in their end most of the night. They play an opportunistic game, and they got a break and scored. It was one of those games where we outplayed them – it just didn’t go our way.”
Canada outshot Finland 37-24, controlled play most of the night and headed into the second intermission with a 2-1 lead.
Canada found the post on a handful of shots in the second and failed to score on five power play opportunities through the first 40 minutes.
“You get chances like that you got to put it in the back of the net,” said Chimera. “Rinne’s a good goalie and a big part of it, but it’s not an excuse – we got to score.”
Finland did a better job of capitalizing on its chances. Just 28 seconds into the third, Hietenan’s shot from a few feet inside the blue line squeaked through Scrivens’ blocker to tie the game.
A fortunate break also led to Finland’s first goal on a power play in the opening period. Joel Ward (North York, Ont./Washington, NHL) blocked Hietanen’s initial shot, but the puck rebounded to Palola in the face-off circle, where he went top shelf short side on Scrivens.
It was the fifth time in eight games that Canada’s opponent got on the board first. The team managed only four goals in the opening period during the tournament, but scored 15 times in the middle frame.
That trend continued Thursday.
After picking off the puck in the defensive zone, Turris passed off the boards to Matt Read (Ilderton, Ont./Philadelphia, NHL), whose return drop feed Turris stepped in to and blasted past Rinne.
With the teams playing four-on-four, a great individual rush from Scheifele gave Canada the lead 6:27 later. After stripping the puck from Petri Kontiola in the defensive zone, Scheifele brought the puck up ice and beat Rinne clean with a quick release from the face-off circle.
From there on, Rinne and a tight Finnish defence shut the door.