Finland takes advantage of Sweden’s PK

By Chris McCluskey

Sweden’s dreadful penalty kill once again proved to be
the difference as the Finns scored two power play
goals en route to a 3-2 win at the Halifax Metro
Centre this evening. The Finns improved to 2-0 while
the Swedes dropped to the exact opposite in a hard
fought battle between the Scandanavian neighboring
rivals.

It was Finland who scored first, minutes into the game
with Jussi Timonen putting his second goal of the
tournament past Polish born Michal Zajkowski.
Zajkowski was starting in place of Mathias Fagerstrom
who gave up eight goals to Canada in an 8-2 loss on
Friday.

This seemed to wake up the lethargic Swedes, inspiring
them to manhandle the Finns for the remainer of the
frame, registering 14 shots to Finland’s 3 late in the
period. It was also the Swedes who scored the next
two goals, taking their first lead of the tournament.
First, Kari Lehtonen gave up a soft goal to the son of
Swedish legend Tomas Steen’s son, Alexander, 54
seconds into the second. This was followed by an
unguarded Robert Nilsson knocking home his second goal
in two games past the highest drafted European
goaltender of all time.

The lead was short lived however, as on a 4 on 3
advantage, standout defenceman Jani Pitkanen called
for the puck at the point and gave it to Jussi Jokinen
who slid the puck to Tuomo Ruutu for the tying goal.
Despite pressure from the Swedes to regain the lead,
Lehtonen was there to make the saves including once
sequence where he managed to get his sprawling body in
front of 4 successive rebounds in a scramble.

It was New York Islanders first rounder Sean
Bergenheim who iced the game late in the third period,
flying in and taking a Jani Pitkanen pass putting it
by Zajkowski to make the final 3-2 on the power play.
Player of the game honors went to Alexander Steen for
the Swedes and Kari Lehtonen for the Finns. Both
teams are out of action tomorrow but will play again
on Monday.

Notes: Tuomo Ruutu, Jussi Jokinen, and Sean Bergenheim
now share a three-way tie for the Finnish team lead in
points with three each.

There is a four-way tie for the
Swedish team lead in points involving Joakim
Lindstrom, Robert Nilsson, Alexander Steen, and Sim
Skoog all with two. Both Swedish goal scorers are sons
of former NHL stars and born in Canada.

Finnish
goaltender Kari Lehtonen was randomly selected to
undergo a drug test following the game and was
subsequently unavailable for interviews.

Hockey’s
Future’s #6 rated player, Joni Pitkanen, in their list of the top
prospects in hockey said through an interpreter that
he doesn’t feel the added pressure of being so highly
touted in the tournament and is fairly happy with the
way he is playing although he would like to get a few
more scoring chances.

Face in the crowd included Brian
Burke, Cassie Campbell, Tomas Steen, and Dave Taylor.


PERIOD 1

Scoring:

2:35 FIN Timonen 2 (Lehtisalo)

Penalties:

11:42 FIN Bergenheim 2 (Hooking)

12:54 FIN Jaakola 2 (Illegal Equipment)

16:20 SWE Lindstrom 4 (High Sticking)


PERIOD 2

Scoring:

0:54 SWE Steen 1 (Skoog, Beck)

7:57 SWE Nilsson 2 (Skoog, Paulsson)

11:55 FIN Ruutu 1 (Pitkanen, Jokinen) PP

Penalties:

9:51 SWE Leetma 2 (Tripping)

11:35 SWE Lindstrom 2 (Holding the Stick)

17:11 FIN Jalasvaara 2 (Hooking)


PERIOD 3

Scoring:

14:30 FIN Bergenheim 2 (Pitkanen) PP

Penalties:


6:35 FIN Fagerstedt 2 (Roughing)

13:27 SWE Almtorp 2 (Interference)

16:25 FIN Timonen 2 (Interference)

PLAYERS OF THE GAME


Sweden: Alexander Steen, 1 goal

Finland: Kari Lehtonen, 27 saves

——————————————————-

GOALTENDERS

Sweden: Michal Zajkowski (0-1)

Finland: Kari Lehtonen (2-0)

——————————————————-

SHOTS ON GOAL

123F

Sweden148729
Finland9111232
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Referee: Tor Olav Johnsen

Linesmen: Miroslav Halecky, John Costello