HERNING, Denmark – Jean-Gabriel Pageau (Ottawa, Ont./Ottawa, NHL) scored the lone Canadian goal as Canada’s National Men’s Team saw its three-game win streak come to an end Saturday with a 5-1 loss to Finland at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.
The defeat leaves Canada fourth in Group B after five games; the U.S. leads the way with 13 points, followed by Finland with 12, Denmark with 11 and the Canadians with 10, although the Danes have played one more game.
Finland drew first blood at 8:50 of the first period on a goal from Mikko Rantanen. It marked the first time in the tournament Canada had given up the first goal of the game.
It didn’t take long for Canada to equalize; less than three minutes later, Pageau fired it past Finnish netminder Harri Sateri through a mass of bodies to make it 1-1.
Finland retook the lead on a power-play goal from Janne Pesonen and stretched it to 3-1 when Rantanen got his second on another man advantage.
That was all for Curtis McElhinney (London, Ont./Toronto, NHL), who allowed three goals on nine shots before giving way to Darcy Kuemper (Saskatoon, Sask./Arizona, NHL), who made 12 stops the rest of the way.
Canada had its chances in a scoreless second period, outshooting Finland 8-5 in the frame, but couldn’t get another goal past Sateri, and went into the second intermission trailing by a pair.
The Finns put the game out of reach early in the third period, with Eeli Tolvanen and Teuvo Teravainen scoring 10 seconds apart to provide the final margin of victory.
Canada will look to bounce back when it takes on Latvia on Monday (2:15 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT).
“I didn’t think we played with enough composure. We were undisciplined at times and we let that get to us. We spent too much time killing penalties and didn’t have any flow. We have to play better in front of our goalies and we need to get consistent goaltending. We’ll get that figured out and have a good pregame skate [ahead of Latvia], then a practice day, so we have to take advantage of that.”
– Bill Peters, head coach, Team Canada
Team Canada has won gold at two of the last three IIHF World Championships, going undefeated during the 2015 tournament in the Czech Republic and shutting out Finland in the gold-medal game in 2016 in Russia. Last year, Canada skated to silver after falling to Sweden in the gold-medal game in Cologne, Germany.