Finland

The Finnish team had no real trouble handling a Norway team that did compete hard, but in the end Finland’s talent prevailed in a 5-1 win.

Despite a sloppy first period, Finland handily beat Norway 5-1. Finland dominated the Norwegians from start to finish, but Norway did compete hard and their goalie Joachim Svendsen did all he could to keep his team competitive in this one.

First Period:

The Norwegians stay competitive but the Finns definitely had chances on Joachim Svendsen, who got the start after backing up Henrik Haukeland against the Russians. In fact, Norway even had a decent scoring chance and held the Finns in their own zone for a little bit too. It didn’t last long, however, as the Finns kept attacking and peppering Svendsen with shots. But, the Norwegian goalie held the Finnish side off early on. With about five minutes to go, Norway had still yet to give up a goal. The Finns came close, however. Juuso Vainio had a great rush up ice and into the offensive zone then drove hard to the net but Svendsen held his ground with a big scramble in front and kept the puck out. Finland would get its best chance of the first period when Jens Henrik Tönjum tripped up Julius Honka and the Finns would go to the power play with a little over two minutes left in the first. Less than a minute left in the period, Artturi Lehkonen received the puck right in front of Svendsen from Teuvo Teräväinen and Lehkonen worked hard and eventually jammed it past Svendsen to put Finland up 1-0 late in the first. The Finns would come close before the period ended, but Svendsen made a nice save to keep the damage to just 1-0 as the first ended. So after being down 5-0 against Russia in the first period yesterday, Norway escapes down just 1-0 against Finland as Norwegians played an extremely physical game.

Second Period:

 Finland opened the second period strong as they had a couple of chances that were stopped by Svendsen, but they did eventually get on the board. Saku Maenalanen cleaned up a rebound with a very nice wrist shot that went right past the glove of Svendsen to make it 2-0 Finland. Norway came close to getting a two-on-one chance but the Finns caught up to them and took the puck away. However, the Norwegians kept coming and eventually drew a hooking penalty to get their first power play of the game. Unfortunately for the Norwegians, they could not convert on their power play and it remained a 2-0 lead for Finland. It was a quiet stretch for a while until the Finns scored again. Maenalanen buried his second of the game and his third point to give Finland a 3-0 advantage. The second period onslaught continued for Finland as Rasmus Kulmala made a terrific saucer pass on a two-on-one to Joni Nikko who potted it to make it 4-0. Then, after a whistle, the two teams get into a bit of a scuffle which led to a pair of players from each side getting sent off and the Norwegians actually got a power play out the whole deal. During the power play, it was the Finns who had the best chance so as you may expect, the Norwegians didn’t score. Although, right after the penalty expired, Finland took another penalty when they slashed Svendsen after the whistle. The second period ended before the power play did, so Norway would get a shortened power play to begin the third.

Third Period:

After not converting on the power play once again, Norway got yet another opportunity with the man advantage when Henri Ikonen got called for hooking. However, the Norwegians still could not convert as Juuse Saros wasn’t tested much. Less than halfway through the period, Otto Rauhala carried the puck into the Norwegian zone but then got knocked down by two Norway players however, Ville Leskinen jumped on the puck and whipped it by Svendsen to make it a commanding 5-0 lead. It wouldn’t get better for Norway as Didrik Svendsen took a penalty to let Finland have a crack on the power play. The Norwegians did a good job (mainly Joachim Svendsen) holding the Finns off. Norway would get yet another shot on the power play from a Leskinen tripping penalty. Sadly, the Norwegians didn’t score as they continued to be shut out. After getting dominated continuously, Norway finally gets one on the board.  Tim Robin Johnsgard gets the first Norwegian goal of the tournament and it was awfully nice to see all of the Norwegian players so excited to get a goal. The game ended a few minutes later as Finland won their first game of the tournament 5-1.

Three Stars:

1)  Saku Maenalanen. While most were probably expecting a larger margin of victory for Finland, Maenalanen did all he could to meet those goals. He collected three points which included a pair of goals. He used his big body to get to the net and create opportunities for himself to score.

2) Teuvo Teravinen. The Finnish captain was held to just one assist, but he could have had a lot more. He used his big shot many times, but he just couldn’t get it by Joachim Svendsen. Teravinen had a very good game both offensively and defensively, if he keeps shooting the puck like he did today, he’ll score his fair share of goals.

3) Joachim Svendsen. I don’t care if his team lost and he gave up five goals, Svendsen was the reason this game wasn’t something outrageous like, oh I don’t know, 11-0? Svendsen battled all game and had to endure so many onslaughts of shots from the Finnish team that dominated the Norwegians all game long. He faced over 50 shots and somehow managed to not allow 7+ goals.

Follow me on Twitter: @BShaw27.

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