Finnish goalie Pekka Rinne stood tall in making 36 saves to help Finland edge Canada 3-2 at the world hockey championship Thursday in Minsk, Belarus. As a result Finland moves on and once again Canada goes home early, following an ugly trend that has seen the Canadians eliminated in the quarter finals of the tournament in five consecutive years.
Finland’s Iiro Pakarinen scored the game winning goal with 3:08 left in regulation, after capitalizing on a turnover from Canadian defenseman Tyler Myers at his own blue line. Finland opened the scoring, early in the first period with a marker from Olli Palola but Canada responded with two straight goals in the second period from Kyle Turris and Mark Scheifle and a 2-1 lead heading into the final frame. Finland was able to strike just 28 seconds into the third period tying the game at 2-2 on a Juuso Hietanen slapshot that hit Canadian goalie Ben Scrivens’ blocker, and then bounced off the shaft of his stick behind him rolling into the goal. Scrivens finished with 23 saves and didn’t look great on the last two goals against.
Canada’s team captain and Vancouver Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa was a standout overseas scoring two goals and adding two assists while leading the team in average ice time with over 22 minutes per game. As a result Bieksa was named as one of Canada’s top three players in the tournament. Fellow Canucks defenceman Jason Garrison added four assists in seven games played while the final member of the Canucks trio playing for their country Alex Burrows finished with one assist in six games. Burrows returned to the lineup on Thursday after missing the final two preliminary-round games with a left knee injury, he was dressed as the 13th forward and saw just over four minutes of ice time.
Canada’s complete 23 man roster was made up of NHL players while Finland had just three NHL players on their squad. Canada hasn’t won a medal at the world championship since earning silver in 2009.