Espoo 2019 semi-finals: Canada falls to Finland at the World Championships – Pension Plan Puppets

Espoo 2019 semi-finals: Canada falls to Finland at the World Championships - Pension Plan Puppets
Canada stunned by Finland, wont play for womens hockey world title for 1st time
Minnamari Tuominen, left, and goalkeeper Noora Raty of Finland stop Ann-Sophie Bettez of Canada during the IIHF Womens Ice Hockey World Championships semifinal match between Canada and Finland in Espoo, Finland, Saturday, April 13, 2019. (Jussi Nukari/Lehtikuva via AP)

ESPOO, Finland — Canada backing off its blue-collar brand of hockey opened the door for Finland’s women to make history Saturday.

“You look at what youre going to take from losing in a semifinal at the world championships, its finding out about your character,” said Canadian head coach Perry Pearn. “The character in the room will really be revealed.

Finland will play in a gold-medal game and Canada won’t for the first time at a women’s world hockey championship because of the host country’s inspired 4-2 semifinal win in Espoo’s Metro Areena.

The United States — an 8-0 winner over Russia in the other semifinal — will chase a fifth straight world title against a team working for a storybook ending to its tournament.

“To me, what happened there is I think embarrassing for womens hockey because checking from behind at every level is not acceptable,” Pearn said. “If that was one of our players on a Finn, I would want it called.

The U.S. and Canada had met in the final of all 18 previous championships dating back to the first in 1990.

After losing to the Finns for the first time in a preliminary-round game at the 2017 world championship, Canada then went 7-0 against them winning by at least three goals in every game until Saturday.

The Finns upending the established world order atop the women’s hockey heap will be seen by some as good for the female game.

"It’s hard to have that perspective as a player in the game," captain Brianne Jenner said. "Right now it just feels like a loss for Team Canada, which we never like to have at the world championships.

Finland will play in a gold-medal game and Canada wont for the first time at a womens world hockey championship because of the host countrys inspired 4-2 semifinal win in Espoos Metro Areena.

It was the biggest upset among the top countries in women’s hockey since Sweden beat the U.S. in the 2006 Olympic semifinal en route to a silver medal.

“I would say there was a little bit of panic when they got ahead of us,” Canadian defender Jocelyne Larocque said. “We werent expecting it. We didnt respond in the way that we should have.

"It’s unreal and on top of that, to do it here on home ice, we’ve been working so hard for so many years now," assistant captain Michelle Karvinen said. "It’s not just one good game. It’s something we actually have earned.

Chasing a team theyd beaten 6-1 in the group stage, the Canadians didnt block shots on the penalty kill. Shooters didnt find lanes when teammates battled for position in front of Raty.

"This is what needed to happen. I think it will open up a lot of the mindsets of women’s hockey that there’s more than two teams."

The United States — an 8-0 winner over Russia in the other semifinal — will chase a fifth straight world title against a team working for a storybook ending to its tournament.

Finland’s power play produced its first two goals. Canada’s went 0 for 4, including almost two minutes of five-on-three early in the second period.

“We definitely missed both of them immensely, but at the end of the day, we still needed to be able to come together as a team and find a way to win and we just didnt do that.”

Accustomed to spending a lot of time in their own zone in games against Canada over the years, the Finns knew how to defend a 3-2 lead after two periods.

“Well find out who has it and who doesnt. Im learning about different players and learning who I can count on and who I cant. Some of that got revealed to me today.”

Chasing a team they’d beaten 6-1 in the group stage, the Canadians didn’t block shots on the penalty kill. Shooters didn’t find lanes when teammates battled for position in front of Raty.

Canadian players twice threw their arms in the air during third-period scrambles in front of Finlands net celebrating what they thought was an equalizing goal.

"I would say there was a little bit of panic when they got ahead of us," Canadian defender Jocelyne Larocque said. "We weren’t expecting it. We didn’t respond in the way that we should have.

The highest-scoring player on the Canadian roster reinjured her knee Monday attempting a return. The loss of Turnbull further weakened Canadas attack Saturday.

Finland’s Ronja Savolainen scored twice, including an empty-net goal, and had an assist in front of an announced 4,311.

Accustomed to spending a lot of time in their own zone in games against Canada over the years, the Finns knew how to defend a 3-2 lead after two periods.

More from Sportsnet Captains change, but goal stays same for Canada in womens world hockey Canadian Press Canadian women hone blue-collar identity in quarters win vs. Germany Canadian Press Jamie Lee Rattray and Loren Gabel countered for Canada in the unfamiliar position of playing Russia for bronze Sunday.

“Theres a potential for someone to break a neck and for a veteran official like the group like we had, for them not to make that call is really wrong.”

"You look at what you’re going to take from losing in a semifinal at the world championships, it’s finding out about your character," said Canadian head coach Perry Pearn. "The character in the room will really be revealed.

It was the biggest upset among the top countries in womens hockey since Sweden beat the U.S. in the 2006 Olympic semifinal en route to a silver medal.

"We’ll find out who has it and who doesn’t. I’m learning about different players and learning who I can count on and who I can’t. Some of that got revealed to me today."

Savolainen eluded a penalty in the first period when she pushed Canadian forward Blayre Turnbull head first into the corner boards in the first period.

After losing to the Finns for the first time in a preliminary-round game at the 2017 world championship, Canada then went 7-0 against them winning by at least three goals in every game until Saturday.

Finlands power play produced its first two goals. Canadas went 0 for 4, including almost two minutes of five-on-three early in the second period.

Savolainen eluded a penalty in the first period when she pushed Canadian forward Blayre Turnbull head first into the corner boards in the first period.

Turnbull, who Pearn calls "the conscience of the team," left the ice with assistance and did not return to the game.

“This is what needed to happen. I think it will open up a lot of the mindsets of womens hockey that theres more than two teams.”

"To me, what happened there is I think embarrassing for women’s hockey because checking from behind at every level is not acceptable," Pearn said. "If that was one of our players on a Finn, I would want it called.

The Finns upending the established world order atop the womens hockey heap will be seen by some as good for the female game.

"There’s a potential for someone to break a neck and for a veteran official like the group like we had, for them not to make that call is really wrong."

Canadian players twice threw their arms in the air during third-period scrambles in front of Finland’s net celebrating what they thought was an equalizing goal.

Jamie Lee Rattray and Loren Gabel countered for Canada in the unfamiliar position of playing Russia for bronze Sunday.

The second instance was quickly waived off and the first no-goal call was upheld after a lengthy review.

Turnbull, who Pearn calls “the conscience of the team,” left the ice with assistance and did not return to the game.

Canada was minus captain Marie-Philip Poulin for all but part of one period at the world championship.

“You look at what youre going to take from losing in a semifinal at the world championships, its finding out about your character,” said Canadian head coach Perry Pearn. “The character in the room will really be revealed.

The highest-scoring player on the Canadian roster reinjured her knee Monday attempting a return. The loss of Turnbull further weakened Canada’s attack Saturday.

“Its unreal and on top of that, to do it here on home ice, weve been working so hard for so many years now,” assistant captain Michelle Karvinen said. “Its not just one good game. Its something we actually have earned.

"We definitely missed both of them immensely, but at the end of the day, we still needed to be able to come together as a team and find a way to win and we just didn’t do that.’

After losing to the Finns for the first time in a preliminary-round game at the 2017 world championship, Canada then went 7-0 against them winning by at least three goals in every game until Saturday.

Canada won't play for gold at the women's world hockey championship for the first time in tournament history.

“To me, what happened there is I think embarrassing for womens hockey because checking from behind at every level is not acceptable,” Pearn said. “If that was one of our players on a Finn, I would want it called.

"It's unreal and on top of that, to do it here on home ice, we've been working so hard for so many years now," assistant captain Michelle Karvinen said. "It's not just one good game.

Finland will play in a gold-medal game and Canada wont for the first time at a womens world hockey championship because of the host countrys inspired 4-2 semifinal win in Espoos Metro Areena.

The U.S. and Canada had met in the final of all 18 previous world championship finals dating back to the first in 1990.

Canada beat Finland 6-1 to cap the group stage of this year's tournament Tuesday. But the Finns had better special teams and goaltending Saturday.

In her 200th career game for Finland, goalie Noora Raty made 43 saves for the win before an announced gathering of 4,311 in her hometown.

Ronja Savolainen scored twice, including an empty-net goal, for Finland. Jenni Hiirikowski had a goal and an assist and Susanna Tapani also scored.

Right now it just feels like a loss for Team Canada, which we never like to have at the world championships.— Canada forward Brianne Jenner after Saturday's 4-2 semifinal defeat to FinlandJamie Lee Rattray and Loren Gabel countered for the Canadians, who trailed 3-2 after the second. Shannon Szabados stopped 15 shots in her first loss against the Finns in 18 starts.

“We definitely missed both of them immensely, but at the end of the day, we still needed to be able to come together as a team and find a way to win and we just didnt do that.”

Finland's disruption of the established world order atop women's hockey will be viewed by some a good for the female game. But it was difficult for Canada to feel any positives in its loss.

The highest-scoring player on the Canadian roster reinjured her knee Monday attempting a return. The loss of Turnbull further weakened Canadas attack Saturday.

"It's hard to have that perspective as a player in the game," captain Brianne Jenner said. "Right now it just feels like a loss for Team Canada, which we never like to have at the world championships.

“Well find out who has it and who doesnt. Im learning about different players and learning who I can count on and who I cant. Some of that got revealed to me today.”

"We're pretty disappointed with that outcome. We'll give credit to Finland for a game well played."

Accustomed to spending a lot of time in their own zone in games against Canada over the years, the Finns knew how to defend a 3-2 lead after two periods.

Canada was without captain Marie-Philip Poulin for all but part of one period at the world championship. The highest-scoring player on Canada's roster reinjured her knee Monday attempting a return.

Savolainen eluded a penalty in the first period when she pushed Canadian forward Blayre Turnbull head first into the corner boards in the first period.

The player head coach Perry Pearn called "the conscience of the team," was in a vulnerable position when Savolainen pushed her and Turnbull tumbled head-first into the boards.

Canadian players twice threw their arms in the air during third-period scrambles in front of Finlands net celebrating what they thought was an equalizing goal.

No penalty was called. Turnbull stayed down for a minute and left the ice with assistance and didn't return.

“Theres a potential for someone to break a neck and for a veteran official like the group like we had, for them not to make that call is really wrong.”

"To me, what happened there is I think embarrassing for women's hockey because checking from behind at every level is not acceptable," Pearn said. "If that was one of our players on a Finn, I would want it called.

It was the biggest upset among the top countries in womens hockey since Sweden beat the U.S. in the 2006 Olympic semifinal en route to a silver medal.

"There's a potential for someone to break a neck and for a veteran official like the group like we had, for them not to make that call is really wrong."

Finlands power play produced its first two goals. Canadas went 0 for 4, including almost two minutes of five-on-three early in the second period.

After losing to the Finns for the first time in a preliminary-round game at the 2017 world championship, Canada went 7-0, beating them by at least three goals in every game until Saturday.

“This is what needed to happen. I think it will open up a lot of the mindsets of womens hockey that theres more than two teams.”

Finland scored its first two goals on the power play and the first three were generated off shots from the point.

Jamie Lee Rattray and Loren Gabel countered for Canada in the unfamiliar position of playing Russia for bronze Sunday. 

The Finns have spent years defending their own end against Canada, so they knew what to do to protect a lead.

Turnbull, who Pearn calls “the conscience of the team,” left the ice with assistance and did not return to the game.

"We've been pretty confident that one day it could happen when we play a perfect game and I have a good game," Raty said. "So we finally scored three on Canada.

"That doesn't happen too often. If you keep believing in yourself, anything can happen."

Finlands Ronja Savolainen scored twice, including an empty-net goal, and had an assist in front of an announced 4,311.

Canada's special teams had been effective through five games. But going 0-for-4 with a man advantage, including 90-plus seconds of a five-on-three early in the second, put it at a disadvantage.

The U.S. and Canada had met in the final of all 18 previous championships dating back to the first in 1990.

Canadian players twice threw their arms in the air in celebration of a goal in the third, but were disappointed.

The second time was quickly waived off, but the first no-goal called was upheld after a lengthy review.

Tapani tipped a Nelli Laitinen shot between Szabados's pads at 16:18 of the second to restore Finland's one-goal lead.

Gabel had pulled Canada even at 7:53 on the rush with Jenner and Ann-Sophie Bettez. It was a broken play, but Gabel got enough stick on it to tip the puck past Raty's right toe.

"A big, huge kill for us," Raty said. "If they score there, it could go either way."

The hosts took momentum from that kill into an ensuing man-advantage to lead 2-1 at 6:50 when Hiirikoski scored with a one-timer from the point.

Hiirikoski, at the point, took a drop pass from Noora Tulus and Savolainen tipped the shot by Szabados at 16:23.

Canada struck early with Rattray on Raty's doorstep re-directing a Laura Stacey wrist shot at 2:32.

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