Ice Hockey World Championships 2015: Finnish superzeroes

Team Finland

Before tonight’s game against Slovakia, Finland had not let in a goal for three games, after beginning the tournament with a 1-5 loss against Team USA. They were thus chasing a tournament record (in modern time) for most minutes without letting in a goal. In the other games today France put up a good fight against Canada, as did Switzerland against Sweden. Russia crushed little brother Belarus and Latvia and Austria got some important points in the bottom of group A. Denmark and Norway met in the Viking Derby of this tournament.

Sweden 2-1 (ot) Switzerland

Sweden got the early lead after a goal by Elias Lindholm seven minutes into the first period. In the same period Switzerland got the equalizer according to the referee but an awake goal referee called for attention, noting that the puck didn’t cross the goal line. However, in the third period Switzerland got the whole puck over the line, again after a decision by the goal judge, tying the game which went to overtime. There, after another odd call from the referee, resulting in a penalty for Switzerland, Filip Forsberg scored the decisive goal for Sweden.

France 3-4 Canada

Tyler Seguin and Jordan Eberle gave Canada the 2-0 lead in the first period while France could reduce it to one goal before the first break. Seguin scored his second power play goal of the day in the second period, giving Canada a comfortable 3-1 lead. However, France came back in the third period, tying the game 3-3. After a boarding penalty on Teddy Trabichet, Canada could once again score in power play with 11 minutes left of the third period. 3-4 was the final result and Canada got revenge on France who won the game between the two teams in the 2014 World Championships.

Belarus 0-7 Russia

Belarus has been the surprise team in group B so far in this tournament, winning against leading team USA the other night. However, against big brother in the east, things didn’t quite go their way. Ilya Kovalchuk began the goal scoring with his 1-0 goal in the first period. After 60 minutes Russia had seven different goal scorers in the protocol and won the game 7-0.

Finland 3-0 Slovakia

As mentioned above, Finland were chasing a record for not letting in goals. Their star goalkeeper Pekka Rinne was ill and had to watch the game from the spectator stands however. 20-year-old talent Juuse Saros got to guard the Finnish net today. He did no mistake. After 40 minutes of play the score was 0-0. Finland scored three straight goals in the third period, letting in zero. The modern time record is 242 minutes and 38 seconds without giving up a goal. In 1937 Great Britains Jimmy Foster played 315 minutes without letting in a goal. At that time the games were played for 3×15 minutes. For the last years, Finnish hockey has been more defensive based than in the 90’s when they were more known for their speed.

Austria 1-2 (ot) Latvia

Extremely important points were at stake in this game where both teams are risking elimination from the tournament. The score was 1-1 after 60 minutes of play and Latvia scored the decisive 2-1 goal in overtime. This places Latvia in sixth place with four points, before France with 3 points and Austria last with 3 points and worse goal difference than France (internal result will count before goal difference). The last team of the group will be regelated to division 1. Lets take a look at the teams coming schedule and predict who will be regelated:

France: Sweden, Latvia, prediction: 0 points = 3 points in total
Latvia: France, prediction: 3 points = 7 points in total
Austria: Germany, Canada, prediction: 0 points = 3 points in total

According to the above, internal result will decide if France or Austria gets regelated. Things aren’t looking good for Austria since they lost 0-2 against France and their best hope is to grab a point or two against Germany.

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