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Canada Takes Care of Finland, Moves on to Quarterfinal

Photos by Chris Tanouye/HHOF Images

Canada Takes Care of Finland, Moves on to Quarterfinal

The final score was 6-3, but it felt a whole lot more like 7-2.

Canada concluded its round robin play at the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship with a decisive victory over Finland on Monday night.

Projected 2023 No. 1 overall selection Connor Bedard scored on a sensational shot, and captain Mason McTavish collected his seventh tally of the tournament, while Dylan Garand turned aside 22 shots on the night, helping Canada to a 4-0-0 record through preliminary action.

Despite giving up the first four shots of the game, Canada responded well, scoring on its first shot, before putting up two very solid periods of work. The final frame was a bit of a disaster, as the team found itself playing more shorthanded minutes than that of even strength or power play time. Including two five-on-three, two-man disadvantages, the Canadians were able to hold off a strong Finnish power play and close out the game allowing just one goal by way of the power play.

“I thought our penalty kill was elite today, so many guys blocking shots. And that’s a great sign for a team that’s trying to win something,” Canadian captain Mason McTavish said. “Finland, they’re a great team. I think they were 3-0 coming into this, their power play is ridiculous. So the fact that our PK stood up there with one of the best power plays in the tournament is huge for us.”

Special teams were the name of the game, as Canada put up two power play goals, while killing off both third period two-man advantages, going 5/6 on the night overall. The Finns managed just one goal on the power play, while going 0/2 on the penalty kill.

McTavish had one of Canada’s power play markers, while Brennan Othmann had the other. For McTavish, it was his tournament leading seventh goal, to which he added two more assists later in the game.

“It wasn’t our best effort, but we stuck with it, and with all the penalties, our PK did an outstanding job,” Othmann said. “Kudos to Ridly and Seels and those guys staying out there and blocking shots. It takes a lot of courage.”

Ridly Greig, Tyler Foerster, William Dufour and Connor Bedard also scored for Canada in the 6-3 victory. Dylan Garand stopped 22 of 25 shots, while Leevi Merilainen turned aside 31 of the 36 shots he faced on the night.

Canada’s victory secures a first-place finish atop Group A, and sets up a quarterfinal matchup with Switzerland on Wednesday evening. That game will go at 6:00 PM central time from Edmonton’s Rogers Place and will be broadcast live on TSN.

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