By Patrick Flynn
(ISN) -Montreal – Zach Fucale and team Canada got revenge on team Finland and Juuse Saros after Finland defeated Canada in last years semi-final.
Canada got off to a fast start when Sam Reinhart buried the rebound from Shea Theodore’s point shot, ten seconds into Canada’s first power play. The goal came with fourteen minutes remaining in the first period. “I knew Sam was coming and just found his stick and got a lucky bounce”, said Theodore on the goal.The first period turned out to be a fairly even and fasted paced period, and at the end of it, shots were tied at ten apiece.
Canada came out looking to take over the game in the second and generated lot’s of chances in the first few minutes of the period, but couldn’t get the puck past Saros who finished the game with 32 saves on 36 shots. With five minutes remaining in the second frame, Domi entered the zone, fed the puck to Duclair on the other wing, who made a great pass to Reinhart, who flipped the puck over Saros. 2-0 Canada. Finland kept it close though, when Samuel Morin gave the puck away in his own zone to Arrturi Lehkonen, who took a quick shot on goal, grabbed the rebound and slid it under Fucale. At the end of the middle frame, Canada lead the shot department 23-21.
After the Finns late goal in the second period they started the third with lot’s of pressure on Canada looking for the tying goal. Finland kept the game very close for 50 minutes but at 8:45 in the third, the strong line of Domi, Duclair, and Reinhart produced yet another goal. Domi got the puck behind the Finns net, took it in front where Duclair found the rebound and tucked it in past Saros. In the last few seconds of a strong power play for Canada, Morrisey took a shot from the blue line, Sarros had a hard time holding on to it and Lazar scored the garbage goal to just about wrap it up for Canada. Canada would let the clock run down and win the game 4-1.
Zach Fucale stopped 26 of 27 shots that the Fins threw at him, playing a solid game despite allowing Canada’s first goal against of the tournament. In a losing effort, the goal scorer for the Fins, Arrturi Lehkonen got the player of the game honers for Finland. With two goals, the player of the game for Canada was assistant captain, Sam Reinhart.
Finland who won last years tournament only has 1 point through three games this year after losing to Slovakia, Canada, and the USA in a shootout. If they want to proceed to the metal round their going to have to pick up the W in their New Years Eve showdown with the Germans, who have lost the only two games they have played. Canada will now have a chance to win group A when they play their neighbour, the USA. USA has won all of their games just like Canada but have one less point because of their shootout win against Finland. Canada will have the day off tomorrow, but will have to focus up quickly for their arguably most important game of the round robin against the Americans.