Finland stays alive
Finland stays alive
Quick strikes early in third overwhelm Swiss
Four goals in the third period, including three in a two-minute span, was the difference for Finland, who overcame a plucky Swiss squad in their quarter-final game at Bolshoy Arena.
Finland will now await the winner of the game between Canada and the Czech Republic to see which team will be their opponent in the semi-finals.
Arturri Lehkonen had three assists, while linemate Juuso Ikonen had three points including two goals in the second period to win Best Player honours.
"The Swiss team is a strong one," said Ikonen. "But we were better, we used their mistakes. It doesn't matter against which team we will play in semi-final we just want to win now."
Going into the third period tied 3-3 after a two-goal comeback by the Swiss in the second frame, Aleksi Mustonen, Joose Antonen, Janne Puhakka, and Jonatan Tanus scored for the Finns to put the game out of reach and Finland into the semi-finals.
It was a third period letdown for the Swiss, who battled back from a 3-1 deficit in the second period to tie the game going into intermission. Micro Muller scored on the powerp play and Pius Suter added another in the comeback effort, but a series of defensive breakdowns early in the third led to the goals from Mustonen, Antonen, and Puhakka and 14:01, 14:47, and 15:27.
Juuse Saros, Team Finland’s goaltender who entered the game among the goaltending leaders in the tournament, finished with 27 saves on 31 shots.
Defensive lapses were the story for Switzerland, who had issues with the Finns following the intermissions. The team surrendered two quick goals early in the second period, the first by Ikonen 17 seconds into the frame, which was replied to by Swiss forward Fabio Hogger less than ten seconds later. But Finland came right back and scored again to go up 3-1 with Ikonen's second, coming on the power play.
For the Swiss, the end of the tournament is stil a positive one for the tiny hockey nation.
"We wanted to score more goals, but we were not able to," said 16-year-old forward Denis Malgin. "Our goal was to play in quater-final and we succeeded in that."
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