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Anttila hero as Finland clinch Ice Hockey WC title
Published : 26 May 2019, 23:44
Updated : 27 May 2019, 09:00
Two goals by Marko Anttila and rest one by Harri Pesonen ensured the third Ice Hockey World Championship for Finland when they beat Canada by three goals to one in the final match in Ondrej Nepela Arena, Slovakia late Sunday night.
The Lions who started the 2019 world championship with the 3-1 victory over Canada made the successful ending with the same score against the same opponent.
A crowd of more than 9,000 fans in the Ondrej Nepela Arena in Bratislava watched Marko Anttila, the captain of two-time world champions, rally his team that was down by one after Canada's Shea Theodore cut through the defenders 10 minutes into the game and scored on Kevin Lankinen's glove side, reported news agency Xinhua.
Finland, lacking true star-caliber players this year, could have opened the score in the sixth minute, but Oliwer Kaski did not capitalize on his short-handed penalty shot. Anttila was the one to tie the game early in the second with a shot from the right circle between the legs of Canada's goaltender Matt Murray on a powerplay.
The 2.03m-tall Finnish giant put his team into the lead early in the third, scoring his second of the night after a great back pass from Veli Matti Savinainen, 2-1. It turned out to be the game-winning goal because Canada's following scoring attempts got thwarted by the almost flawless Finland's goalie. The 24-years-old Lankinen made 43 saves on the most important night of his career
Harry Pesonen stretched the lead to 3-1 with four minutes left, forcing Canada to pull their goalie and start their dreaded all-out attack. But Lady Luck was not on their side this evening and Lankinen either saved everything they threw at him or the puck bounced off his posts and crossbar into safety.
Canada's silver medal marks their 50th top-three finish at the hockey worlds.
Finland refreshed their great memories of Bratislava, having won gold here in 2011 when Slovakia was hosting their first World Championship in history. It was the third Ice Hockey World Championship Trophy for the Lions after they became champion in 2011 and in 1995.