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Lions reach Ice Hockey WC final beating Russia

Published : 25 May 2019, 21:23

Updated : 27 May 2019, 08:23

  DF Report

Marko Anttila (Front) of Finland takes a shot during the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Slovakia semi final game between Russia and Finland at Ondrej Nepela Arena on May 25, 2019 in Bratislava, Slovakia. Photo Xinhua/Lukasz Laskowski.

Finland reached to the final of the Ice Hockey World Championship after beating Russia by a solitary goal in Ondrej Nepela Arena Slovakia on Saturday.

Russia's 8-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday when Marko Anttila sent the puck between the legs of a defender and the goalie alike in the 51st minute and scored the only goal of the fast-paced semifinal game that kept the fans in the crowded stadium on the edge of their seats, reported Xinhua.

The desperate Russians pulled their goalie with under two minutes left, but the determined Finns defended with all their might and refused the tying goal.

The shooters on both sides put the goalies into the spotlight. Kevin Lankinen made 32 saves on his second shutout of the tournament, defusing several top scoring chances, and Andrei Vasilevski let only one of the 29 shot attempts of the Finns in his net.

In the earlier semi-final match Anttila leveled the score against Sweden on Thursday just 90 seconds before of the normal time, which helped the team to win in the overtime later.

Finland will face Canada on Sunday.

The Lions became champion in the Ice Hockey last time in 2011 and in 1995 and expecting the first medal after 2016 when they won silver in Moscow after losing against Canada.

"We’ve believed in ourselves all tournament," reported IIHF quoting Anttila as saying, adding "I don’t know if anybody else has, but the way we’re playing, we can beat any team in this tournament. I like to think we’ve got one more win left in us."

"We have one more game and we want to win tomorrow and we’ve already started to prepare for that," Jukka Jalonen, Finnish Head Coach told IIHF after the match.