This game was in the wake of the epic game between Team USA and Russia which took place one day earlier. It was not quite the caliber of the Saturday classic, but was a great game.
The depth of the Team Canada roster has been well documented. Consider that Mike Richards and Claude Giroux did not even make the team, and in this matchup vs Finland, P.K. Subban and Martin St. Louis were healthy scratches.
Finland would need to rely on superior team speed, and a possible goaltending edge, as they had Tuuka Rask between the pipes, while Team Canada had Carey Price.
As the game began, it was Finland which seemed to have the jump. The Finns were quicker and put immediate pressure on the Canadian squad. That lasted about four mins, then the Canadians took over and slowly began dominating the game, and dictating the flow.
Eight mins into the first period, it appeared as though Team Canada had taken the lead. As the Canadian team was applying pressure in the offensive zone. The puck wound up going high in the air, landed and settled on the back of the net behind Rask. Rick Nash swiped at the puck; it fell off the net, hit the back of Rask, and trickled into the net. After review, the goal was disallowed, due to having been played by a stick which was above the crossbar.
The intensity of this game was quite evident. Later in the first period, when Finnish player Jarko Immonen went to the penalty box for interference against Sidney Crosby. Finland's team captain Teemu Selanne skated over to Crosby, and accused the Team Canada captain, of diving. Game on.
On the ensuing power play, Team Canada, worked the puck in the Finland zone. Drew Doughty received a pass at the top of the face circle. Doughty made a quick stutter-step move, and then ripped a shot into the upper corner on the shortside of Rask at 13:44. A bit of a soft goal, but nonetheless it made the score 1-0 in favor of Team Canada.
Team Finland can thank the goaltending of Rask. Just a few mins later, with the momentum still swinging in Team Canada's favor, Patrick Sharp stole the puck deep in the offensive zone. Sharp slid the puck over to Chris Kunitz who was then robbed by Rask at point blank range.
Rask's final heroics came in the final few mins when he denied Jonathan Toews' wraparound attempt.
At the end of the first period, shots on goal were even at 8-8, but the score easily could have been 3-0 in favor of Team Canada. Instead, the Finns were down by a very manageable score of only 1-0.
In the second period, the puck possession advantage continued for Team Canada. As was the story for much of the first period, it was fruitless. Despite having been dominated, and held to only two shots on goal, the Finns struck. Tuomo Ruutu tipped in a slapshot, only the third shot of the period to knot the score at 1-1 at the 18 min mark. Finland finished the period with only four shots on goal, but had tied the game.
The third period was scoreless.
The game ended with Canada having outshot Finland by a margin of 25-14.
The score was tied 1-1 as the overtime period began, but the Finns had run out of luck.
Shortly into the extra session, L.A. Kings teammates Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty would be the heroes. Carter broke out of his own zone, and the speedy Drew Doughty joined him. As the two picked up speed through the neutral zone, the pressure forced the Finns back on their heels. Carter crossed the Finns' blueline and slid the biscuit over to Doughty who scored from virtually the same spot he scored his first goal.
2:32 into OT session, the game was over. Final score, Canada 2, Finland 1.
In this tournament, Drew Doughty now has four of the 11 goals Team Canada has scored. Despite the win, Team Canada still does not look as dominant as they should. Favored to win Gold, this team needs to find their chemistry very soon. As the Nation of Canada sees it, failure is not an option.
In the quarterfinal round, Team Canada will play the winner of Switzerland/Latvia. Finland will play the winner of Russia/Norway.
Team Canada forward line combinations:
15 Ryan Getzlaf/24 Corey Perry/9 Matt Duchene
37 Patrice Bergeron/87 Sidney Crosby/22 Jamie Benn
16 Jonathan Toews/77 Jeff Carter/12 Patrick Marleau
20 John Tavares/14 Chris Kunitz/61 Rick Nash
8 Drew Doughty/44 Marc-Edouard Vlasic
6 Shea Weber/2 Duncan Keith
27 Alex Pietrangelo/19 Jay Bouwmeester
Finland forward line combinations:
26 Jarkko Immonen/64 Mikael Granlund/8 Teemu Selanne
27 Petri Kontiola/50 Juhamatti Aaltonen/36 Jussi Jokinen
12 Olli Jokinen/28 Lauri Korpikoski/15 Tuomo Ruutu
21 Jori Lehtera/41 Antti Pihlstrom/71 Leo Komarov
3 Olli Maata/6 Sami Salo
4 Ossi Vaananen/5 Lassi Kukkonen
18 Sami Lepisto/38 Jusso Hietanen
44 Kimmo Timonen/45 Sami Vatanen