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Canada 6, Finland 3: Game Blog

FIRST PERIOD : That didn’t take long. Just 33 seconds in, Ryan Getzlaf swoops between two defenders

FIRST PERIOD

*** That didn’t take long. Just 33 seconds in, Ryan Getzlaf swoops between two defenders, Janne Niskala and Mikko Jokela, and lifts one over goaltender Nicklas Backstrom to open the scoring. It was the first shot of the game and Getzlaf’s first goal of the tournament. Prime Minster Stephen Harper claps his approval.

*** Nashville Predators prospect Antti Pihlstrom has made a name for himself at the worlds with his checking-line prowess. He’s the only non-NHLer on Finland’s top three lines, but he capitalized on a neutral-zone turnover to beat Pascal Leclaire with a bullet shot off the wing at 5:39 while shorthanded to tie the score 1-1.


*** There’s some chippy play early, and Canada just took its second penalty in the opening nine minutes. Finland needs to adjust quickly to the absence of Olli Jokinen and his big shot on the power-play point. He is serving a one-game suspension today.

*** Canada answers with a shorthanded play of its own after a great play by Chris Kunitz. Kunitz drew two defenders and fed Shane Doan, who deked to his backhand, couldn’t find the handle, spun to his forehand, and beat Backstrom from a sharp angle. Doan was at the bottom of the faceoff circle when he finally shot.

*** Pihlstrom almost had his second goal of the game at 9:21, but Pascal Leclaire used terrific lateral movement to get across and stop him on a 2-on-1 pass-and-shoot.

*** There have been some bone-crunching hits early in the first. Dan Hamhuis just laid out a Finn, while Pihlstrom put the shoulder into Mike Green.

*** Former Chicago Blackhawks teammates Tuomo Ruutu and Jonathan Toews just got into it after an encounter at the Finnish blue line.

*** Leclaire just made a nice pad save on Saku Koivu. Finland is outshooting Canada 8-4, despite the fact they trail by a 2-1 count late in the first.

*** Canada has a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes, although it has been outshot 9-7.

SECOND PERIOD

*** Through eight minutes, the Kiss Cam was the highlight, until Finnish captain Ville Peltonen stormed down the right wing and beat Pascal Leclaire with a zippy shot --- only to be denied by the post. The shot was confirmed no goal after video review.

*** Pascal Leclaire was nearly at the bottom of the faceoff circle challenging Niko Kapanen on an important save with 11:01 left in the second period.

*** Ryan Getzlaf continues to assert himself physically.

*** Add another goal to the list for Dany Heatley. Heatley took a pass from Ryan Getzlaf down low and skated in front of Nicklas Backstrom and slammed it home on his backhand. It’s Heatley’s tournament-leading eighth goal in just six games.

*** Canada, which has three goals on 12 shots, is coming on strong now.

*** The fact that Canada has a 3-1 lead midway through the second period could seal this one. Finland played a tough game on Sunday against the United States and may not have the legs to muster up a comeback in the final 30 minutes.

*** The Eric Staal line, coming off a 12-point outing, is playing well, despite no points.

*** Canada didn’t look like it was doing itself any favours with back-to-back penalties late in the second period, but Patrick Sharp pots a shorty with 1:48 left in the frame to make it 4-1. Sharp capitalized on a turnover at Canada’s blue line and cruised in alone, holding off Ville Koistinen before hammering one along the ice underneath Backstrom.

*** This one is well in hand for Canada as the second-period horn sounds. Finland has a 16-14 edge in shots, but Canada has a rock-solid 4-1 lead.

THIRD PERIOD

*** Jason Spezza sure doesn’t get much love from Canadian head coach Ken Hitchcock. He has just 5:45 of ice time after two periods, which is only ahead of Jason Chimera. Spezza is basically hockey’s version of a designated hitter on the power play.

*** This game is over. Just 67 seconds into the third period, Shane Doan uncorks a cannon from the faceoff dot that deflects off the head of Sami Lepostio, changes directions, and beats the glove hand of Nicklas Backstrom. It’s 5-1, and Canada only has 15 shots.

*** Pihlstrom continues his outstanding play, scoring his second goal of the game at 8:34. The play came as a result of a strong forecheck. Canadian blue-liner Dan Hamhuis appeared to get hurt after the play after being accidentally decked by a teammate.

*** Dany Heatley makes it 6-2 with 1:58 left, giving him a tournament-leading nine goals in six games. He is two goals shy of Canada’s all-time single-tournament record.

*** Tuomo Ruutu scored a goal with 23 seconds left to briefly silence a roaring crowd.


*** Canada wins this one without much resistance, scoring on virtually every chance. The 6-3 win leaves the squad a perfect 6-0 and clinches first place in Group F, meaning Canada avoids the U.S. and will face either Latvia or Norway in Wednesday’s quarter-final.

 
 
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