Day two and the heavyweights USA and Finland got their first chance to step out on the ice to begin their battle for medals at the IIHF World Championships. An exciting game with low scoring gave Finland their first victory in the tournament.
The start of the game was just what everyone hoped for – lots of chances on both sides, fast pace, and heavy-hitting. The USA came close to getting one past the Finn goalie but the puck hit the post. The Americans continued their strong showing for the remainder of the period. If it wasn’t for the opposing goaltender Jussi Olkinuora and the decent counters of Team Finland there is no way that the period would’ve ended scoreless. Towards the end of the period, Finland created more chances but nothing came from those. 0:0 after 20 minutes and a lead in shots on goal 10:8 for Finns.
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The fast-paced game carried over into the second period. Finland showed flashes of offense that turned into active pressure that generated scoring chances. USA managed to clear the puck but on an occasion, Finns got it back – entered the zone where Maenalanen found Ohtamaa who wasted no time and blasted the puck towards the net, on the way it hit Brian Boyle and the puck went into USA’s net for the first goal of the game. It was one team effort until the middle point of the period where to that point Finland had outshot Americans 13:1. The USA had a chance to tie things up on powerplay but it was no good. Moments later Conor Garland couldn’t cash in on a breakaway. Finns on the other end weren’t as dismissive to score – Iiro Pakarinen doubled his team’s lead. With two minutes remaining, Jason Robertson went five-hole on the opposing goalie to get his team their first goal of the tournament.
In the 3rd – both sides kept playing the same entertaining game, both sides exchanged scoring chances, USA knowing that they have to get one back picked up the pace creating opportunities. With two minutes left Americans had to pull their goalie for an extra attacker. Finland missed an empty net while USA couldn’t tie the game up to force OT and got their first loss of the tournament.