CANADA BLACK VS FINLAND
by PAT BRETHAUER
Tuesday November 4, 2014
With a so - so crowd at the Sarnia Arena as it would be assume most of Canada's fans were in Lambton Shores for the highly touted USA vs Canada Red game. But the Canadian fans came away much happier after enjoying a solid hockey game with Canada Black defeating Finland with a final score of 4-3.
This was Canada Black's first win in the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge after losing to Russia on Sunday and taking an over time loss against Canada White on Monday. For Finland this was their first loss after defeating Canada White in the first game and winning in over time against Russia on Monday.
Canada opened the scoring at 2:32 when Pierre-Luc Dubois of the QMJHL league grab the puck in a scramble and quietly flip it into the side of the net. Finland answered back at 5:29 with Otto Makinen scoring. Finland had a couple of other chances in the period ringing pucks off the goal post but the score would remain tied at 1 each to head into the second. Canada outshot Finland 8 - 5 in the first period.
Canada regained the lead late in the second period with Canada on a two-man advantage Captain Kale Clague from Lloydminster Alberta made no mistake and banged in his first goal of the tournament to regain the Canadian lead. A minute and thirty six seconds later Oshawa General's Cliff Pu scored to widen the lead to 3-1. Finland led in shots on goal in the second 13 - 10.
In the third action went end to end and at 14:09 Sam Steel from Sherwood Park Alberta scored Canada's 4th goal. But Finland's team never let up and and at 16:59 scored, and scored again less than a minute later to narrow the gap to 4 - 3. Scoring for Finland were Janne Kuokkanen and Emil Oksanen.
In a tense filled arena Finland pulled their goalie for the extra attacker but the Canadian team held on to take the win. Finland again out shot the Canadians by a narrow margin 8 - 6.
Canadian netminder Stuart Skinner earned his first win making 23 saves on 26 shots. Leevi Laakso took the loss made 19 saves on 23 shots.
Canada scored once on four power play opportunities. Finland went zero on six opportunities.
After Tuesdays games Finland took first place in the standings in Group A and will meet Slovakia in the Quarter finals being played at the RBC Centre on Thursday at 3:00 pm. Canada Black after placing last will have their work cut out for them as they will face the undefeated USA team in Lambton Shores at 3:00 pm.
In other action Russia will take on Canada Red at Lambton Shores and Sweden and Canada White will play at the RBC Centre. Both games begin at 7:00 pm.
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