The final day of the olympic ice hockey preliminary round saw Canada get tested yet again. Finland had blown through it’s first two preliminary round games with surprisingly dominant offense. Canada had come into this final game without really showing all that much in my opinion. I definitely think that this Canadian team is not as good as the team they took into the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
Canada’s defense has been very solid and it’s contributing to their offense. They have more goals from their defenseman than from their forwards. Defenseman Drew Doughty has four goals in the tournament, including both of Canada’s goals against Finland. The first one came on the power play, a one-timer. There was a little bit of chirping going at when the penalty was called because Jarkko Immonen was called for interference on Sidney Crosby. Finnish captain Teemu Selanne felt that Crosby went down pretty easy and even dove to embellish the penalty. So, Teemu skated over to Sid as they were both heading to their respective benches and they had some words.
Finland tied the game up in the second with a nice deflection from Tuomo Ruutu. Defenseman Ossi Vaananen took a point shot and put low towards the post to the left of Canadian goaltender Carey Price and Ruutu deflected to the opposite side of the net and beat Price easily. Canada certainly had more opportunities through regulation than Finland, including a near goal on a Jonathan Toews rap around attempt that crawled along the goal line. Also, Canada had a goal disallowed when Rick Nash knocked the puck, which was sitting on top of the net, off of Tuukka Rask and into the net. The goal was disallowed and called as a high stick. In the overtime period, Finland’s only shot in overtime was a difficult one for Price as the Finns had an open shot with Sami Salo, I think it was him, but Price blockered it away. Shortly after that, Doughty took a pass from Jeff Carter on a rush into the Finnish zone and beat Rask for the game winner.
Scoring Breakdown by Period:
- FIN: Ruutu (1)
- CAN: Doughty (3, 4)
Shot Breakdown by Period
With this result, Finland earns a bye through to the quarterfinals and avoids playing in the qualification round. However, since they sit in 4th, they will have the toughest draw in the quarterfinals. They will play the winner of Russia-Norway in the quarterfinals. If they advance to the semifinals, they could face off against their most heated rival, Sweden.
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