Canada 5 Finland 3
HELSINKI, Finland — Canada rose to the occasion and met its toughest test yet at the IIHF World Hockey Championship.
Evander Kane’s goal 6:04 into the third period stood up as the winner Friday as Canada twice overcame two-goal deficits in beating Finland 5-3.
The speedy forward took a pass from linemate Corey Perry before beating Kari Lehtonen with a quick shot. It was his second goal of the tournament.
Alex Burrows, John Tavares, Jeff Skinner and Jordan Eberle also scored for Canada (4-0-1), which moved atop Group H and now controls its own destiny moving towards the medal round.
Antti Pihlstrom, Mikko Koivu and Jussi Jokinen replied for Finland (4-1-0).
There was an electric atmosphere for a game that had been sold out for weeks. Chants of “Su-o-mi! Su-o-mi!” started more than 10 minutes before the opening faceoff at Hartwall Arena and rarely subsided throughout the night.
The Finns harnessed the emotion of their fired-up home crowd and took advantage of a couple gaffes by Canada to build a quick 2-0 lead.
A Kyle Quincey neutal zone turnover resulted in a 2-on-1 that saw Niko Kapanen find Pihlstrom all alone to make it 1-0 at 5:53. To make matters worse, Quincey was soon sent to the penalty box for cross-checking and teammate Dion Phaneuf followed, resulting in a 5-on-3 disadvantage.
After Canada killed the first penalty, Koivu knocked home a rebound at 10:31. Canadian coach Brent Sutter called a timeout to try and settle his rattled players.
They responded with a much better second period that saw them put three goals behind Lehtonen — matching the total Finland had allowed through 13 periods in the entire tournament.
Burrows made it 2-1 at 5:34 after bringing the puck out from behind the net. It came on one of his first shifts after making a return from a concussion suffered in the opening game of the event.
Jokinen restored Finland’s two-goal advantage just over two minutes later — Skinner was in the penalty box for Canada — by one-timing a shot past Cam Ward but Tavares answered that goal at the end of a 2-on-1 rush with Skinner at 14:31.
The turning point came just before the end of the period with Canada pressing. Skinner jumped off the bench and collected a loose puck before circling behind the goal and beating Lehtonen with a wraparound to make it 3-3 at 18:18.
After Kane gave Canada its first lead of the game, the Finns pressed hard for the tying goal. Ward made two huge stops seconds apart during a late power play opportunity, sliding across his crease with the pads stacked on the second shot.
Eberle hit the empty night with 24.1 seconds remaining to secure the victory.
Notes: Shots in the first period were 15-4 for Finland … Ryan Murray was scratched for Canada after the arrival of defenceman Kris Russell, who picked up an assist 24 hours after arriving in Helsinki … Canada wraps up the round robin with games against Kazakhstan (Saturday) and Belarus (Tuesday) … Announced attendance was 13,059.