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Canada Walks Away with Silver in Loss to Finland, Refs at World Championships

Photos by Andre Ringuette

Canada Walks Away with Silver in Loss to Finland, Refs at World Championships

Team Finland is once again the victors at the IIHF World Championship. Having beat Canada back in 2019, the Finns lost to the Canadian in 2021 following the cancelled 2020 running of the annual tournament. But in late-May of 2022, Finland once again defeated Canada, this time by way of a 4-3 overtime win, to take the IIHF’s top off-season championship as the lone undefeated team of 2022.

In earning the win over Canada in the gold medal game, Finland also retained its world No. 1 ranking across the professional men’s hockey realm. Canada sits in second, followed shortly thereafter by Russia, USA and Sweden.

Sunday’s game was one that Canadians won’t soon forget – for all the wrong reasons. With Canada up 1-0 through 40 minutes of play, Canada was assessed three-straight penalties, including a phantom high-sticking call on Cole Sillinger that sent the Finns to a five-on-three man advantage. They scored just seconds after the two-man advantage began.

Making matters worse for the Canadians was that goaltender – Winnipeg-born Chris Driedger – hurt himself moving side-to-side on Mikael Granlund’s power play goal, thus removing himself from the game injured. Matt Tomkins came in in relief, but was immediately faced with the second penalty kill of the two-man advantage. Granlund scored his second goal in just 1:44 of action, giving Finland a quick 2-1 lead with roughly three-quarters of the final period left to play.

But the Finns weren’t done there. Former Winnipeg Jet Joel Armia added to Finland’s lead, scoring on Tomkins with under six minutes to play.

But Canada did not go quietly.

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation’s Zach Whitecloud scored with just 2:12 left in the game, bringing the Canadians to within one. And Max Comtois tied the game with Tomkins on the bench for the extra attacker with 1:24 to go.

“It’s the fight in our team,” Sillinger said of his team’s effort. “We never give up. We pushed them till the end, and it’s unfortunate that there was another penalty in overtime and they capitalized. They played a great hockey game, and congratulations to them.”

But it was Sakari Manninen who scored the game-winner for Finland 6:42 into the overtime period, sealing the deal on the gold medal and sending Canada back home in defeat.

“It was crazy,” Granlund said post-game. “It was great! What an ending to the game. They tied it up in the third period, but we found a way in the end and this is just awesome.”

It was another goal that came on a man-advantage for the Finns, as Thomas Chabot was assessed a two-minute hooking call in the extra frame. It was the first time that Finland won gold on home soil, while becoming just the second team to win Olympic gold and World Championship gold in the same year.

Carter Brooks - Associate Editor of Game On Magazine - is a news writer and sports columnist situated in Winnipeg, MB. On top of reading and writing, his favourite pastimes include camping, car-modification projects and coaching hockey. Carter can be reached at carterbrooks1994@gmail.com or on Twitter at @GameOnHockey.

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