ICE Hockey World Championship Final : Canada reached their fourth world championship final in the last five tournaments with a 5-1 rout of the Czech Republic and Finland joined them with a shock 1-0 win over favorites Russia on Saturday.
2019 IIHF World Championship Finals
Team : Canada vs Finland
Date : Sunday, May 26, 2019
Start Time : 2:15 PM ET
ICE Hockey World Championship Final
Sunday’s title showdown in the Ondrej Nepela Arena will be the second meeting between the two sides in the 16-nation event after Finland beat Canada 3-1 in their opening group-stage clash in Kosice.
Having squeezed through to the last four with a dramatic 3-2 quarter-final win over Switzerland, after forcing overtime with a goal 0.4 seconds before the end of regulation, the Canadians enjoyed plain sailing this time. ICE Hockey
The Finns outshot the Russians 32-29 but only the 33-year-old winger, who led his team with five attempts, managed to find the net. His goal lifted the Finns to the final on Sunday, where they will face either Canada or the Czech Republic, who meet later on Saturday.
The Finns have won the world title twice, most recently in 2011, the last time it was held in Slovakia.
The win sets up a rematch of Canada’s first game at the tournament, a 3-1 loss to Finland on May 10. The gold medal game will also serve as a rematch of the 2016 final in Moscow, which Canada won 2-1.
Canada has won eight straight games at this year’s tournament after dropping the opener.
Canada opened the scoring in Saturday’s game at the 5:18 mark of the first period when Stone streaked to the net to tip a centering pass from Troy Stecher below the glove of Czech netminder Patrik Bartosak.
”The score was 5-1 but it felt closer than that,” Dubois said. ”The Czechs played a really good game. They did a lot of good things. I thought we defended well as a unit of five. We didn’t give them a lot. Murray was really good when we made mistakes and that’s what made the difference.”
Canada has won eight straight games since opening with a 3-1 loss to Finland. The teams last met in the final in 2016 in Moscow, with Canada winning 2-1. The title game is Sunday.
In the first semifinal, Anttila grabbed the loose puck after Henri Jokiharju’s point shot bounced off defenseman Nikita Zaitsev‘s leg and fired it through goalie Andrei Vasilevski’s gaping five-hole.
”He took a stick in the face and came back and scored the game-winning goal,” Finnish goalie Kevin Lankinen said. ”That shows a lot of character. He’s a good leader and a really nice guy to be around.”