If the third period of Sunday’s game is any indication, tonight’s quarter-final at the world hockey championship between Finland and the United States will be worth watching.

Finland is coming off a 3-2 win over the U.S, rallying from a 2-0 deficit in the third period. A video goal judge was dismissed for a botched call on Finland’s first goal, 202 penalty minutes were handed out, and three players were suspended.

The two teams do it all again tonight at 8:15 p.m. in the final game of this year’s tournament at the Metro Centre.

Nobody on the U.S. team was making excuses in the aftermath of Sunday’s controversial loss, even though pinning it on the video goal judge would have been an easy way out.

“We deserved to lose,” U.S. head coach John Tortorella said.

“They were the better team and they beat us. The second half of that game was our worst hockey of the tournament.”

A big part of that was composure. The Americans lost their cool and took too many trips to the penalty box.
“After that controversial goal, we came unravelled and they took it to us,” U.S. forward David Backes said. “We’ve got to keep our bearings and play hockey how we know how to play.”

Backes, who broke the nose of Finnish forward Anssi Salmela in a bloody fight as time expired, admitted his team became frustrated and called the Finns “a feisty group.”

Both teams are preaching discipline in the rematch.

“If they try to get under our skin, we can’t take any dumb penalties,” Finnish forward Jussi Jokinen said. “It can cost us the game and it can cost us the whole tournament.”

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