Team Finland has bagged themselves a medal after defeating team Russia 4-1 at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championships in Edmonton.
For the first two minutes of the game, both sides were scouting out each other but eventually, Russia picked up the pace being the first team to take a shot on goal. Yegor Chinakhov managed to get a breakaway but was stopped by the Finn goalie Karl Piiroinen. Russian pressure materialized as Maxim Groshev made a shot at the goal which was turned away but Ilya Safonov was there to cash in on the rebound. At half point of the period, Russia was not only up on the scoreboard but also in shots on goal 7:0. The closest Finns came to a shot was a dump from the side of the net. Towards the end of the period, Finland picked up their own pace and started generating chances. Yaroslav Askarov however wasn’t ready to give one up. 1:0 after the first twenty, shots on goal 11:9 for Russia.
FINAL: 4🇫🇮 1🇷🇺 pic.twitter.com/xcrkSeO1X6
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Chinakhov’s period began with a stick to the face and a man advantage for Russia. However, the Russian side couldn’t manage to capitalize on that opportunity. The Finns struck next – an amazing shift by Heinola, the puck was all over in the Russian zone as a shot from the blueline followed and Anton Lundell tipped it in to tie the game. The pace evened out during the ending frame of the second period. Both sides exchange shots. The closer, it got to the end of the period the more pushing and showing appeared to be a hobby by both sides. 4-on-4 hockey and the only notable chance for either side was Vasili Podkolzin driving the net but the puck stayed out. 1:1 after two periods, shots on goal 20:19 for Russia.
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Physical hockey early in the period awarded Finns with the goal. Feisty player, great positioning in front of the Russian goal, once again a shot from the blueline and a tip-in by Mikko Petman to give Finns their first lead of the game. Crowd creasing helped Finns to take over the game. At the mid-point of the third, Russia managed to start creating chances of their own, playing more physical hockey gave them a slight edge on the ice. Russian captain Vasili Podkolzin took a double-minor with 6:45 left in the period, however, Finland didn’t manage to shoot at the net even once and so Russia killed the penalty. An icing call with 1:55 left, a timeout as Russia sent out six players as they pulled their goalie. A tad too early some might say as Anton Lundell scored an empty-net goal with 1:28 left and then Jusso Parssinen with another one granting Finland a well-earned bronze medal.