Team Canada goalie Ben Scrivens fails to stop a puck and Finland scores the second goal during third period quarter-final game on Thursday

Canada falls to Finland at world championships

Wanting Team Canada to improve game by game at the world hockey championship, coach Dave Tippett thought the quarter-final effort against Finland was the best yet. It was also the last, as a couple of third-period mistakes led to a 3-2 loss Thursday at Chizhovka Arena and Canada’s elimination from the tournament.

MINSK, Belarus — Wanting Team Canada to improve game by game at the world hockey championship, coach Dave Tippett thought the quarter-final effort against Finland was the best yet.

It was also the last, as a couple of third-period mistakes led to a 3-2 loss Thursday at Chizhovka Arena and Canada’s elimination from the tournament.

“I use a phrase all the time that every play counts,” Tippett said. “Every play counts and unfortunately we had a couple go against us.”

The play that counted the most for Canada was a turnover by defenceman Tyler Myers, who tried to pass it off the wall to Kyle Turris. Jori Lehtera got in the way, setting up Iiro Pakarinen for the game-winner with just 3:08 left.

A downtrodden Myers said everyone saw what happened and didn’t feel he needed to explain.

Turris, who scored Canada’s first goal, took the blame.

“I was yelling at him, ‘I’m open in the middle, I’m open in the middle,’ and when he passed to the middle, the guy stepped in between,” Turris said. “It was my fault. I was yelling at him to move it to me, and the guy stepped in the way and went the other way. I should have had it.”

It was a game that Canada felt it should have had. Holding a 2-1 lead after two periods on goals by Turris and Mark Scheifele, the Canadians were in control despite a strong game from Finnish goaltender Pekka Rinne.

One bad bounce 28 seconds into the third changed everything. Finland’s Juuso Hietanen let a slapshot fly that hit Ben Scrivens’s right arm, the back of his blocker, and then the shaft of his stick before trickling over the goal-line.

“It’s a terrible goal to give up,” said Scrivens, who stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced.

“It’s deflating for the team. That’s squarely on me. It’s really tough to swallow right now.”

This was the fifth straight year Canada lost in the quarter-finals at this tournament.

Making it more difficult to accept was that this squad of NHL third-liners and potential stars of the future bounced back perfectly from an opening shootout loss to France. Six straight victories followed.

The Finland game easily could have been one, too.

“We still had our shifts in their end, our chances,” captain Kevin Bieksa said. “We had a couple breakdowns. We knew going into this game that the Finns were a team that would sit back and capitalize on our mistakes, and they made us pay tonight.”

Tippett addressed his players after the loss but couldn’t offer much in the way of an uplifting sentiment.

“It’s a tough situation for everybody,” Tippett said. “It’s not the result you want. We came here to win, we didn’t come here to lose in the quarter-finals. There’s not much to say. We didn’t accomplish what we wanted to accomplish.”

All because of a few bad breaks. Finland’s first goal 6:06 in, which came on the power play with Myers in the box for roughing, happened after an attempted point shot deflected off penalty-killer Joel Ward’s stick and right to Olli Palola for his third of the tournament.

That didn’t deflate Canada, which kept putting pucks on Rinne, who finished with 36 saves on 38 shots. The attempts came from everywhere and almost everyone, as 17 of 20 skaters had at least one on net.

“I thought we played some really good hockey throughout the whole game,” Myers said. “I think we were right there. It was our game to lose. It’s never a good feeling to have it happen like that.”

One problem was going 0-for-5 on the power play. Had Canada buried a couple of those chances, like Brayden Schenn’s shot very early that hit the crossbar, it would have been a very different game.

Canada’s players and Tippett were quick to credit the Finns, who played their brand of hockey well and pounced on mistakes.

“We worked extremely hard (for) 60 minutes,” Hietanen said. “We knew that we were going to get our chances and now we scored a couple goals.”

Finland coach Erkka Westerlund was proud of how his team responded and came back from the 2-1 deficit.

“In (the) third period we showed the mental strength,” Westerlund said. “We call it in Finland ’sisu.”’

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake council adopts waterfront plan

Sustainable Waterfront Area Redevelopment Plan to guide development for next 20 years

Two people die in Rocky-area collision

Rocky Mountain House RCMP investigate

RDC launches week of activities focusing on student mental health

Learners invited to join the discussion at #MakeSomeTimeRDC

Husky Energy walks away from its hostile takeover bid for MEG Energy

CALGARY — Husky Energy Inc. is walking away from its hostile takeover… Continue reading

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

Canada’s Conners on his way to full PGA Tour card with fast start to 2019 season

Corey Conners was working on his putting last Friday when fellow Canadian… Continue reading

Canada’s Milos Raonic, Denis Shapovalov advance at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia — Canada’s Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov have advanced to… Continue reading

Study finds more than half of food produced in Canada wasted

The study released Thursday is the world’s first to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources instead of estimates

AP Exclusive: A peek at how Disney resort shows are made

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — With excitement building over a new “Star… Continue reading

Justin Bieber’s ‘Steps to Stardom’ hometown exhibit makes plans for a book

STRATFORD, Ont. — Justin Bieber’s meteoric rise to pop stardom will be… Continue reading

Most Read